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Black Hawk (1767-1838) 

From orisrinal oil do rt rait by R. M. Sully, painted at Fortress Mon- 
roe, while Black Hawk was confined there iu 18:]3. The property ot 
the Wisconsin Kistorical Society. 



Stat e Historical SaciEiY 




Secjretary of the Society 


Being a page-for-page Reprint of the Original Issue of 1868 

UNDER the editorial DIRECTION OF 


Secretary and Superintendent 





JJubUfili^Ji bg Aullynrltg of OHja^Jtrr BB, ICamB of 1903 



Contents and Illustrations 


Portrait of Black Hawk . . . . Frordispiece 

Preface to Reprint Edition. R. O. Thwaites. 

Vol. V 

(Edited by Lyman Copeland Draper 
Part I 

Facsimile of Original Title-page 

Objects of Collection desired . 
Officers for 1867 
Officers for 1868 

Synopsis of Annual Reports of Executive Committee, 1860-66 

Thirteenth Annual report of Executive Committee, January 3, 1867 

Officers for 1860 

Officers for 1861 

Officers for 1862 

Officers for 1863 

Officers for 1864 

Officers for 1865 

Officers for 1866 

Eulogies — 

John Warren Hunt. Ezra S. Carr 
Louis Powell Harvey. David Atiuood 

Canadian Documents. Notes by The Editor 

DocumeDts: Ze^^er.s— Frontenac to De Seignelay, 65; De Lou 
vigny to the Sovereign Council, 67, 78; De Callieres to the 
Minister, 73, 76; De Vaudreuil and others to the Minister, 77, 
80, 92, 104, J06, 107; Bishop of Quebec, 85. Narratives— 
Father Charlevoix, 81; Father Crespel, 87; William J. Snell- 
ing, 95. 

iv Contents and Illustrations 


Historical Notices of De Louvigny, Perrot, DeLigoery, De Beanjeu, 
Marin, Du Buisson, De Villiers, De Noyelle, and St. Ange. 
The Editor ....... 108 

Early Days at Prairie du Chien, and the Winnebago Outbreak of 

1827. WiUiam J. SneUiug . . . . .123 

Indian Honor: an incident of the Winnebago War. Western Courier 154 
The Winnebago Outbreak. LewU Cass .... 156 

Letter to Gen . Henry Atkinson. Henry Dodge . . . 157 

A Western Reminiscence. Abram Edwards . . . 158 

Part 11 


Fourteenth Annual Report of Executive Committee, Jan. 4, 1868 
Eulogy on Henry Dodge. Silas Uriah Pinney 
The Winnebago War. Thomas L. McKenney 
Reminiscences of Wisconsin. John H. Fonda 
Dodge's Volunteers in the Black Hawk War. 

Documents: Letter — Henry Dodge to Potosi Republican^ 285. 

Statement — Of Treasury Auditor, 285. 
Reminiscences of the Black Hawk War. Emilie, in Galena 

Advertiser ....... 287 

Battle of the Bad Axe. Henry Smith . . . .291 

Capture of Black Hawk. David McBride .... 293 

Dells of Wisconsin: Black Hawk's Cave. Newport Mirror . 298 
Black Hawk's Autobiography Vindicated. J. B.Patterson . 300 

Document: Letter— Ot Antoine le Clair, 302. 
Death of Black Hawk. Willard Barrows . . . 305 

Winnebagoes and the Black Hawk War. Washington Constitution 306 
Sioux and the Black Hawk War . . . . .310 

Document: Talk between Gen. Joseph M. Street and the 

Sioux, 310. 

Personal Narratives of Black Hawk War. Joseph Dixon and W. 

Davidson . . . . • • • 315 

Part III 

Early History of Education in Wisconsin. W. C. Whit/ord . 321 
Subdivisions: French Missionaries and Traders, 321; No 
French Mission Schools, 323; Few First Settlers Educated, 
324; First Schools in Families, 324; Schools among Indians, 
326; Military Posts and their Schools, 329; Early Schools 
of Lead Region, 3.33; Settlers from Eastern States, 335; First 
Schools of Eastern Settlers, 335; System of Public Schools, 

Contents and Illustrations v 


337; State University, 345; Union or Graded Schools, 345; 
Blind Asylum, 346; Academies and Colleges^ 346; Conclu- 

sion, 350. 

History of School Supervision in Wisconsin. W. C. Whitford . 352 

Life and Services of J. D. Doty. Albert G. Ellis . . . 369 

Reminiscences of Hole-in-the-Day. Julius T. Clark . . 378 

Sketch of Hole-in-the-Day. Alfred Brunson . . . 387 

Note on Hole-in-the-Day. The Editor . . . . 400 

Death of Hole-in-the-Day. St. Paul Press . . . .402 

Murder of Hole-in-the-Day. St. Cloud Journal . . . 406 

Additional Note on the Younger Hole in-the-Day. The Editor '408 
Gren. Cass at St. Marie, 1820. Milwaukee Wisconsin and Charles 

C. Trowbridge . . . . . . .410 

Index. The Editor . . . . . . .416 

Preface to Reprint Edition 

The fourth volume of the Wisco?isin Historical Collections 
was published in 1859; nine years elapsed, however, before its 
successor appeared. The outbreak of the War of Secession, 
with its enormous State expenditures, led to retrenchment 
in every possible direction. Among the publications issued 
under the patronage of the young Commonwealth were the Col- 
lections; but this being one of the enterprises not essential to 
the life of the State, very naturally it was in 1860 suspended 
by special act. Six years later, the w^ar being concluded, the 
legislature authorized (chapter 135, Laws of 1866) a new vol- 
ume, to be issued in three successive parts of a hundred and 
fifty pages each, during the years 1867, 1868, and 1869. Dr. 
Draper found it inconvenient to commence publication in 
1867, but in the latter part of the following year published the 
three parts simultaneously. These were, however, bound sep- 
arately, and in paper covers — part I, comprising pp. 1-160 ; 
part II, pp. 161-320; and part III, pp. 321-416, besides a gen- 
eral index to all. Issued in that ephemeral form, these parts 
were easily separated from each other, so that after a few years 
only persons accustomed to book collecting or having the li- 
brary habit, possessed the three intact. The result was, that 
a complete set of volume v soon became kno^vn the country 
over as a rarity. The Society's own stock, although carefully 
husbanded, was quite exhausted as early as 1888, twenty years 
after publication; and collectors of Wisconsiniana have at any 
time within the past fifteen years often paid second-hand deal- 
er's for this volimae as much as ten and twelve dollars. In 
hundreds of othenvise complete sets of these Collections, poss- 
essed by libraries and individuals, volume v is still missing; 



by such, the present reprint will he welcomed with especial 

Apart from its interest as a bibliographical rarity, the vol- 
ume possesses much merit from the historical point of view. 
The synopsis of the Society's Annual Reports for the years 
1860-66, when it possessed no medium of publication other 
than the Madison newspapers, are important documents in the 
history of the institution — to these being added the detailed 
Reports for 1867 and 1868. 

The documents ranging from 1690 to 1730, concerning the 
protracted Fox War^ were of much importance to the early 
historian of the French regime in Wisconsin, and until recent- 
ly were one of the chief sources for the story of this period. 
The much fuller and more accurate presentation of material 
thereon, in volumes xvi-xviii of the Collections, has, however 
rendered these earlier versions of small avail. As for Dra- 
per's historical notes thereon, they are of permanent value; 
although, of course, to be read in connection with later investi- 
gation of the subject. 

The Winnebago War (1827) is interestingly dealt with by 
several w^riters — the articles of greatest concern being those by 
Snelling, Cass, and McKenney. 

The Black Hawk War (1832) plays a large share in this vol- 
ume, as in several of its successors ; perhaps the most interest- 
ing feature of the present series of articles being the glimpses 
afforded of the methods and personnel of Dodge's rough riders, 
from the lead-mining district. Judge Finney's eulogy of 
Dodge is in the same connection. 

Hole-in-the-Day, a celebrated Chippewa head-chief, is elab- 
orately treated by Messrs. Clark, Brunson, and Draper, and 
some anonymous newspaper writers. Bom in 1800, and mur- 
dered in 1868, this warrior made a lasting impression upon the 
early American settlers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. These 
recitations of his daring deeds and high character, present him 
in a favorable light. 

Two notable contributions to the educational history of the 



State are presented by Prof. William C. W,liitford of Milton 
College. Later accounts of this phase of State development 
have largely been based on his original study. 

It has been our custom in this series of reprints, to publish 
as a frontispiece illustration to each volume the portrait of 
some person whose name is prominently connected therewith. 
Dr. Draper was thus given in volume i, Henry S. Baird in ii, 
AugTistin Grignon in iii, and John Y. Smith in iv; Black 
Hawk is herewith presented, as the principal historical char- 
-acter in volume v. 

K. G. T. 

Madison, Wis. 

October, 1907 - 





FOR THE YEARS 1867, 1868 AND 1869. 





From 1854 to 1859, four volumes of Reports and Collec- 
tions of the State Histoncal Society of Wisconsin were pub- 
lished by the State. In 1860, the Legislature, to lessen the 
public burdens, intermitted its publication; but with the re- 
turn of peace and prosperity, the Legislature of 1866 author- 
ized the Gociety to have published by the State Printer a Part, 
of 150 pages a year, to commence in 1867, and to be consecu- 
tively paged, so that three successive parts should form a vol- 
ume. Circumstances unnecessary here to mention, prevented 
the Secretary and editor of the Society's publications, from 
commencing the issue of this new series until now ; but the de- 
lay has added very considerably to the accumulation and com- 
pleteness of the material from which to make the selection. For 
the convenience of the editor, and for the sake of securing uni- 
formity of paper, the third Part, that for 1869, is a little an- 
ticipated in the order of time. The fifth volume of the 
Society's Collections presents, we believe, quite as varied a his- 
toric melange, and as replete with interest, as either of its 

Again we appeal to our friends for appropriate contribu- 
tions — to our surviving pioneers for their reminiscences, and 
to our citizen soldiery who served in the late war, for diaries, 
documents, personal and general narratives. 

L. CD. 

Madiso>^, Wisconsin, Oct., 1868. 

Objects of Collection Desired 

1. Manuscript statements and narratives of pioneer settlers — old letters and 
Journals relative to the early history and settlement of Wisconsin, and of the 
Black Hawk war; biographical notices of our . pioneers, and of eminent citi- 
zens, deceased; and facts illustrative of our Indian tribes, their history, 
characteristics, sketches of their prominent chiefs, orators and warriors, to- 
gether with contributions of Indian implements, dress, ornaments and curiosities. 

2. Diaries, narratives, and documents relative to the war of the rebellion, 
and more especially of the part enacted by Wisconsin officers and soldiers; — 
their heroic exploits, sufferings and services. 

3. Files of newspapers, books, pamphlets, college catalogues ; minutes of 
ecclesiastical conventions, conferences and synods, and other publications re- 
lating to this State or Michigan Territory, of which Wisconsin formed a part 
from 1818 to 1835 — and hence the Territorial Laws and Journals, and files of 
Michigan papers for that period^ we are pttrticularly anxious to obtain. 

4. Drawings and descriptions of our ancient mouads and fortifications, their 
size, representation and locality. 

5. Information respecting any ancient coin or other curiosities found in 
Wisconsin. The contribution of such articles to the Cabinet is respectfully 

6. Indian geographical names of streams and localities in this State, with 
their significations. 

7. Books of all kinds, and especially such as relate to American history, 
travels and biography in general, and the West in particular, family genealogies, 
old magazines, pamphlets, files of newspapers, maps, historical manuscripts, 
autographs of distinguished persons, coins, medals, paintings, portraits, statuary 
and engravings. 

8. We solicit from Historical Societies and other learned bodies that inter- 
change of books and other materials by which the usefulness of institutions 
of this nature is so essentially enbanced — pledging ourselves to repay such con- 
tributions by acts in kind to the full extent of our ability. 

9. The Society particularly begs the favor and compliment of authors and 
publishers to present, with their autographs, copies of their respective works for 
Its Library. 

10. Editors and publishers of newspapers, magazines and reviews, will 
confer a lasting favor on the Society by contributing their publications regu- 
larly for its Library — or at least such numbers as may contain articles bearing 
upon Wisconsin History, biography, geography or antiquities ; all of which 
will be carefully preserved for binding. 

Packages for the Society may be sent to, or deposited with^ the following 
gentlemen, who have kindly consented to take cliarge of them. Such parcels, 
to prevent mistakes, should be properly enveloped and addressed, even If but a 
single article : and it would, furthermore, be desirable that donors should for- 
ward to the Corresponding Secretary a specification of books or articles donated 
and deposited. 


Joel Mnnsell. 82 State St., Albany. 

Joseph Sabin, 84 Nassau St., New York. 

Samuel G. Drake. 17 Prom.field St. (up stairsK Boston. 

Oeo. Rem.'^en, 819 and 821 ^Jarket St.. Pliiladeipbia. 

TTon. L. .L Farwell, Patent O.'Sce. Washington. 

I. A. Lapbam, LL. D., Milwaukee. T.. C. D. 


Officers for 1867 


INCREASE A. LAPHAM, LL. D., Milwaukee, 


Gen. WM. R. SMITH, Mineral Point; Hon. JAS. T. LEWIS, Columlus; 
HON. HENRY S. BAIRD, Green Bay; Hon. HARLOW S. ORTON, Menasha; 
Hon. ED. SALOMON, Milxcaukee ; Hon. L. J. FARWELL, Tl'esfport; 

Hon. JAS. R. DOOLITTLE. Racine; Hon. ANGUS CAMERON, La Crosae; 
Hon. WALTER D. McINDOE, ^Vausau; Hon. W. A. LAWRENCE, JanesviUe. 


1. Hon. CYRUS WOODMAN, Mass.; 3. Hon. HENRY S. RANDALL, N. T.; 

2. Hon. perry H. SMITH, III.; 4. Hon. JOHN CATLIN, xY. J.; 

5. Hon. STEPHEN TAYLOR, Penn. 
Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER 
Recording Secretary — CoL. S. V. SHIPMAN. 
itftranan — DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 




Governor. Secretary of State. State Treasurer. 

For One Tear^ For Two Years, For Three Years, 


Hon. D. J. POWERS, Hon. E. B. DEAN, Jr., Prof. J. D. BUTLER, 










Literary Eechangea—VU^liEY, FIRMIN, CLARK, HOBBINS, CHAPMAN and 





Literary Purchases and Fixtures — BR ATER, DURRIE an<» CONOVER. 



Officers for 1868 




Gek. war. R. SMITH, Mineral Point; Hon. JAMES T. LEWIS, Colurnixia; 
IIo.v. HENRY S. BAIRD, Green Bay; Hon. HARLOW S. ORTON, Watertoicn; 
Hon. ED. SALOMON, ilihcaiikec ; Hon. L. J. FARWELL, Westport; 

Hon. WALTER D. McINDOE. Wausau; EIon. WJL A. LAWRENCE, Janesville. 
honorary vice presidents : 

1. Hon. CYRUS WOODMAN, Mass.; 3. Hon. HENRY S. RANDALL, N. Y.; 

2. HON. PERRY H. SMITH, lU.; 4. Hon. JOHN CATLIN, N. J.; 

5. Hon. STEPHEN TAYLOR. Penn. 
Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary — CoL. S. V. SHIPMAN. 
I/ibraHari— DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 




Governor. Secretary of State. State Treasurer. 

For One Tear, For Two Years, For Three Years, 



Pbof. E. B. CARR, S. G. benedict. Gen. SIMEON MILLS, 








Auditing Accounts — POWERS, FIRMIN, HILL, W. E. SMITH and DEAN. 

Literary Exchanges— FIR-^UN, HOBBINS, CLARK, SKINNER and ALLEN. 





Hiatorical Narratives— VI'S'SBY, FAIRCHILD, RUBLEE, SHIPMAN and 


Soliciting Committee— UOBniyS, W. E. SMITH, DEAN and RICHARDSON. 
Library, Purchases and Fixtures — DRAPER. CONOVER and DURRIE. 





OF wiscoNsm 

Vol. V. FOR THE YEAR 186 7. Past I. 

Synopsis of Annual Reports 


During the suspension of the publication of our Report and 
Collections, the fourth and last volume of which was issued in 
1859, the annual reports of the Executive Committee have 
only appeared in the newspapers, and only in abbreviated form 
in some instances ; a synopsis of them seems necessary in order 
to preserve the principal features of each year's labors and pro- 
gress in accessible form. With the renewal, by liberal Legis- 
lative enactment, of the privilege of permanent publication, we 
shall resume issuing the Executive Committee's annual report 
in extenso. 

Sixth Annual Report, January 3, 1860 

A Society specially devoted to the single object of gather- 
ing, preserving, and disseminating whatever pertains to the 

2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

history of an independent Republic like Wisconsin, is engaged 
in a work of no unimportant cliaracter. History, from the 
Greek word istoria, signifies literally a knowledge of facts and 
events acquired by personal observation and research — an ex- 
amination, investigation, or inquiry, in order to obtain a 
knowledge of the facts and events sought for elucidation. 
According to Yerrius Flaccus, it means the knowledge of 
things present; so that the idea of narration would seem to be 
a secondary meaning of history. But in the progress of the 
science it desig-nates, it has received a more extensive mean- 
ing, until it has come to signify that science which treats of 
man in all his social relations, political, commercial, religious, 
moral and literary, as far as they are the result of general in- 
fluences extending to large masses of men, and embracing both 
the past and the present, including, therefore, every thing^ 
which acts upon men, considered as members of society; and 
its object is, to represent with truth and clearness, the relations 
in which man exists, and the influences to which he is subject. 

In investigating these relations, and dispersing the clouds- 
which often envelope truth, history is a science; in exhibiting 
its treasui-es of truth, it is an art. Individuals, events, actions, 
discoveries and measures, are historical as far as they have a 
bearing upon the many, in their relations to each other; or, as 
far as they disclose a truth, important with respect to the re- 
lations which that truth may sustain to other truths or to 

History justly ranks among the highest and most useful of 
sciences. It is, indeed, the reflector which enables us to account 
for the present, and shows us what may be the future, by plac- 
ing the past vividly before us. The chief aim, therefore, of 
such a S'ocietv as ours, is not so much to exhibit the treasures of 
history, as to gather scattered facts, investigate their credibil- 
ity, and place them in their proper relation ; or, in other words, 
such a Society is properly devoted to the science, rather than 
the art of history. The State Historical Society of Wiscon- 
sin has, then, a mission of no small importance ; and such 
has been its conceded vigor and success, that its example has 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 

been largely instnimental in leading to the organization of 
some eight similar associations in the Western and South- 
Western portions of the Union. 

The Treasurer's Report shows the receipts of the year, in- 
cluding the small balance on hand at the date of his last re- 
port, to have been $1,030.89; the disbursements $948.47— 
leaving a balance of $82.72 in the General Fund. The bal- 
ance of $47.77, previously reported in the International Liter- 
ary Exchange Pund, still remains unexpended. 

During the past year, the increase of the Library from ordi- 
nary sources has been 813 volumes — 378 by purchase, 431 by 
donation, and 4 by exchange. The year preceding, the pur- 
chases were 424 volumes, donations 442, exchanged 241 — the 
latter, except ten volumes, were from M. Yattemare, as the 
first fruits of his system of International Literary Exchanges. 
Deducting tliose received from M. Yattemare, we shall find 
the past year's increase of the Library comparing very nearly 
with that of the preceding year; and though the numbesr 
of volumes purchased w^as 46 less, more money was expended 
for them, and a large proportion of them are really more 
rare and valuable. Our expenditure for books in 1858, was 
$586.29; while, in 1859, it amounted to $711.71. In 1858, 
among the large class of works added to the Library were 
50 folios and 5,6 quartos— total 106 volumes; in 1859, 32 
folios and 74 quartos — total 106 volumes. 

In this exhibit of the increase of the Library the year 
past, we have given only the augmentation from the ordi- 
nary sources; but outside of these ordinary sources a still 
larger increase has been secured — from the large book pub- 
lishers of the country. In the summer and autumn of IS^S, 
the Corresponding Secretary of the Society, in his capacity 
of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, visited Cin- 
cinnati, Philadelphia, Xew York and Boston, and called on 
several leading publishers, soliciting specimen copies of their 
standard publications suitable for School Libraries. iSTot hav- 
ing time to call in person upon all the principal publishers, he 
issued a circular addressed to them, on the 10th of 'Nov.y 1858, 

4 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

eoon after his return home — the follomng extract from which 
"will sufficiently explain the ohject: 

"In my forthcoming Annual Report to the Legislature of 
Wisconsin, I shall strongly urge the adoption of a permanent 
State system of School Libraries; recommending that a special 
fund be set apart for this purpose, so that the Libraries may 
not only be creditably conmienced, but annually replenished 
"with solid and useful books, calculated to suit the tastes, and 
meet the wants, of all classes of community. I am well per- 
suaded, that the Legislature will be inclined to adopt some 
good plan — ^probably the township system, similar to that of 
Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. It is urged by the leading edu- 
cators, and principal men of the State, and cannot, I think, 
fail of success. 

"While recently in Philadelphia and xsTew York, I called on 
several of the most prominent publishers, and suggested that 
they send me a sample copy of such of their publications as 
they might think appropriate for School Libraries, so that I 
might use them for a double purpose — first to submit to the 
Legislature in evidence of the great saving that might be made 
by having a Stat-e system by which to procure the w^orks at 
the lowest wholesale rates, instead of leaving the Towns to 
purchase of peddlers and others at the highest retail prices; 
and, secondly, from which to make, eventually, a suitable se- 
lection for such School Libraries. When done with them^ I 
propose to place them in the Library of the State Historical 
Society of Wisconsin, as the gift of the several publishers who 
contribute them — the Historical Society Library being the 
largest, best, and most consulted of any in the State, and hence 
the books, when placed in that collection, would still be in a 
position to attract the attention of the hundreds and thousands 
"who visit the Library annually." 

As the result of this solicitation, 987 volumes have been re- 
ceived — nearly all of which may be regarded as works of a 
sterling and standard character. It has been usual, we believe, 
for State Superintendents of Public Instruction to appropriate 

1867J Annual Reports, 1860-66 5 

such sample volumes to their private libraries; but, the 
late Superintendent thought that such a valuable collection 
should inure to the benefit of the public, and he deemed the 
State Historical Society a more fitting receptacle than the 
small library connected with the Superintendent's department, 
where they would have been consulted only to a limited ex- 
tent. In the Library of our Society, they will better subserve 
the purpose of the publishers and donors, prove more acces- 
sible to the public, and are still ready for convenient reference 
to such person or persons as the State may designate to exam- 
ine and determine the books for school library purposes. The 
cost of this collection, at ordinary rates, would not have been 
less than twelve or fifteen hundred dollars. 

As these books have been formally conveyed to the Society, 
and added to its Library, the real increase the past year has 
been, from ordinary sources 813 volumes, from publishers 987 
— ^total, 1800 volumes. 

During the year past, 722 unbound documents and pam- 
phlets have been received. And among the most valuable li- 
brary additions have been forty-two bound newspaper files — 
eighteen of which relate to the last century, from 1763 to 1800 ; 
and many curiosities have been added to the cabinet. The Li- 
brary now numbers 7,053 volimies, and 5,400 unbound pam- 
phlets and documents, making together 12,453. Ko additions 
to the Picture Gallery reported. 

A new volume — the fourth of the Society's Reports and Col- 
lections j has been issued during the past year, containing quite 
a variety of papers, of permanent value, on historical, antiqua- 
rian and scientific subjects, which, it is hoped, may prove as 
useful and acceptable as its three predecessors. 

Seventh Annual Report, January 2, 1861 

The Annual Reports of the Executive Committee and Treas- 
urer, exhibit the receipts into the Treasury, including the bal- 
ance at date of the last annual report, $1,203.19; disburse- 
ments, $1,115.48; leaving a balance on hand of $87.71. The 

6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

additions to the Library the present year have been 83T vol- 
umes, and 1,134 documents and pamphlets, making a total ad- 
dition of 1,971 works. The totrl number of volumes now in 
the Library is 7,890, and including the unbound documents 
:and pamphlets, 14,400. The vrholo number of bound news- 
paper files in the Library is 493, covering almost the entire 
period of the last century, with scattering volumes of an earlier 
date, and altogether replete with deeply interesting historic 
events and associations. There are fifty-one oil paintings in 
the Picture Gallery. 

Eighth Annual Report, January 2, 1862 

The receipts into the Treasury, including the small balance 
on hand at the commencement of the past year, have been 
^1,087.71, and the expenditures $965.13 — ^leaving an unex- 
pended balance of $122.58. . 

The Library a year ago numbered 7,890 bound volmues, 
and over 6,500 unbound documents and pamphlets, or an 
aggregate of 14,400. During the past year the Library addi- 
tions have been 610 volumes, and 711 unbound documents and 
pamphlets — giving an aggregate increase of 1,321 ; and exhib- 
iting a total of 8,500 bound volumes, and over 7,200 unbound 
documents and pamphlets, now in the Library, or combined 
over 15,700. Of the past year's addition, 258 were folios, and 
53 quartos — an unusual proportion of this class, owing to the 
large number of accimiulated newspaper files which we have 
recently had bound and placed upon our shelves. In classify- 
ing these additions, 349 are works on history, biography, gene- 
alogy, travels, publicr.tions of Historical and other learned 
societies, and bound newspapers; 68 relate to agriculture, 
ficience and the mechanic arts; 148 pertain to laws and leg- 
islation, and 45 are of a miscellaneous character. 

The chief feature of the Library increase the past year has 
been the large addition of bound newspapers. In 1855 we had 
forty volumes of newspaper files bound; the Society's files 
have been ever since accumulating. We have, the past year, 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 

had 240 volumes bound, and obtained fifteen volumes by pur- 
chase and nine by donation, making the total increase of our 
newspaper collection 264 volumes, of which twenty-seven are 
of quarto and 237 of folio size. The fifteen volumes purchased 
are all, except one, English newspapers, published between 
1758 and 1794 — exceedingly valuable for their antiquity, as 
well as for the current record of events in the then American 
Colonies, and in the infancy of our new Kepublic. Beside 
these, there are 78 other newspaper files, also published beyond 
the limits of Wisconsin, from 1844 to 1860, of which 22 vol- 
umes are made up of daily papers of Xew York, Chicago and 
London, and eleven volumes of semi and tri-weeklies, aggre- 
gating 125 years of newspaper literature. One hundred and 
eeventy-one volmnes, of which seventy-four are dailies, and 
furnishing in the aggTegate 300 years of newspaper literature, 
are exclusively Wisconsin papers, published from 1845 to 1861. 
Many of the volumes comprise as many as three or four years 
of a single weekly newspaper in a separate volume; so that 
the entire 264 bound ne^vpaper files added to our collections 
the past year cover in the aggregate a period of 425 years. 

The entire collection in the newspaper department now num- 
bers 757 volumes, and must aggregate very nearly a thousand 
years of this valuable class of historical literature. There is 
no other such collection, nor any thing at all comparable to it, 
tc be found in the West, and but few equal to it anywhere; 
and probably there is no State in the Union which has so com- 
plete a collection of its own leading newspapers as our So- 
ciety has brought together during the past eight years. 

Such newspaper files, besides their uses for the purposes of 
history, their gratification and interest as objects of curiosity, 
and the opportunities they so richly afford us for contrasting 
the tame and simple past with the astonishing strides of the 
ever-onward present, also contain thousands of published legal 
notices, advertisements, and records of public events. These 
are often required as evidence in our higher courts : and upon 
these unpretending newspaper files, which are too generally 
regai-ded as of little value, immense property interests fre- 

8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

quently depend. In some important cases, not only tlie Courts 
but the Lawyers on both sides, have gladly availed themselves 
of the files and documents in the archives of our Society. It 
will not be unreasonable to predict, that in the course of time, 
titles to landed property in litigation in Wisconsin, to the value 
of millions of dollars, will depend — j^erhaps exclusively de- 
pend — upon the legal notices and advertisements found in the 
precious files of newspapers preserved by the Society, and 
which conmience with the newspaper literature of Wisconsin, 
in 1833, and extend to the present time — each day contribut- 
ing additions to the collection. In this particular alone, the 
Society is silently, yet constantly, collecting and preserving 
what will inevitably prove of vast importance to the pecuniary 
interests of the people of every part of our State. By means 
of our preserved newspaper files, citizens from distant parts of 
the State have come to the seat of Government, and been en- 
abled to prove their just claims, and get them allowed by the 
Legislature — and, in some instances, newspaper publishers 
themselves, for advertising for the State. 

The Library rooms have undergone some important changes 
and improvements, particularly iu appropriate shelving for the 
largely increased bound newspaper collections. The Libra- 
rian has devoted his time exclusively to the interests of the 
Library — receiving some ten thousand visitors during the year 
— re-arranging and better classifying the books on the shelves 
— arranging and collating newspaper files for binding, and cat- 
aloguing the books proper and newspaper files on the ampli- 
fied card system of Prof. Jewett, now so generally adopted by 
aU the large Libraries of the country. This important work 
of systematic cataloguing is designed to be prosecuted until all 
the unbound documents and pamphlets are included. 

In drawing to a close, our report of the Society^s last year's 
history, we cannot but express the conviction, that with the 
additions made to the Library and Cabinet, and the largely in- 
creased facilities and conveniences of the Library itself, the 
year 1861 has sho^\Ti as much advancement in all that attaches 
to a good and useful public Library as any foraier year. 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 

And what a field of historic culture is still spread out before 
us! Look at the wide extended territory from Lake Superior 
on the ]^orth, to the Illinois prairies on the South, and from 
Lake Michigan on the East, to the Mississippi on the West — 
presenting an area of fifty-four thousand square miles, nearly 
as large as England and Wales combined, and five-sixths the 
size of Scotland and Ireland together. Such is Wisconsin! — ■ 
and she can boast a history as varied and interesting as that of 
any of her sister States of the ^^'orth-West. For ages the Ked 
Man had roamed her luxuriant woodlands and undulating 
prairies, when the adventurous Catholic missionaries, nearly 
two himdred years ago, penetrated her borders, and planted 
missions at Depere, and at Che-goi-me-gon, or La Pointe, on 
Lalie Superior. Marquette and his hardy band of explorers 
soon ascended Fox River, and dowTi the Wisconsin, and from 
our own territory first discovered the gTeat Father of Waters, 
the Mississippi. Following closely upon the self-denying mis- 
sionai'ies in their indefatigable labors to plant the banner of 
the eross on our soil, came those untiring couriers of the ^vil- 
demess, the traders or merchant princes of the forest, with 
their train of voyageurs, who, in the gainful pursuit of com- 
inerce, penetrated almost every portion of Wisconsin, where 
T^'-ater-courses enabled them to fioat their light canoes, and 
reach the Indian settlements. Then followed in their order 
the successive and romantic French expeditions of De Lou- 
vigny, Marin and De Lignery, for the chastisement of the 
intractable Sank and Fox Indians. About 1745 the b)ld 
and adventurous De Langlades made at Green Bay, the first 
permanent settlement in Wisconsin ; and the younger De Lan- 
glade led forth the tawny warriors of Wisconsin, who shared 
ir. the many sanguinary conflicts of the old French and Indian 
war, frv>m BraddocVs defeat, in 1755, to the final English 
conquest of Canada, in 1760. The location of an English gar- 
rison at Green Bay in 1761, and its evacuation in less than tw,> 
years thereafter; the movements of Sieur Charles De Lan- 
glade and the Wisconsin Indians during the Revolutionary 
contest; the war of 1812, and the military affairs at Prairie du 

lo Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

Chien; the Winnebago disturbances of 1827, and tbe Black 
Hawk war of 1832, and the succeeding rapid settlement and 
development of the country — all combined to furnish fruitful 
subjects of historic research and investigation. 

But a new field of historic culture has been suddenly and 
unexpectedly opened up before us in the great Southern 
rebellion of 18G1. With over twenty thousand men in the 
field and under arms, Wisconsin has a deep and abiding 
interest in the result of the mighty contest now pending — a 
contest which will mark a new era in the history of our com- 
mon country. So much, at least, of this history as the men of 
Wifc>consin may assist in making, it is the imperative duty of 
our Society to collect and preserve, as minutely detailed as we 
can possibly obtain it. To this end, several hundred circulars 
have been sent to the brigade, regimental and company officers 
of our volunteers, appealing to their State pride to preserve 
for the Society, diaries of the services, especially of our own 
troops, and secure diagrams of interesting military localities, 
and collect relics and trophies of the pending contest. Our 
hopes are sanguine of securing much valuable material from 
this source; and we conficlently trust that the Society, in 
future years, may not want for facts or details to prepare a 
full and impartial history of the services of our gallant volun- 
teers in aiding to successfully quell the wicked and unnatural 
rebellion of our misguided bretliren of the South. 

Ninth Annual Report, January 2, 1883 

The Treasurer's Keport gives a detailed statement of the 
finances of the Society for the past year — exhibiting $1,130.08 
in receipts, and $1,090.30 in disbursements, leaving a balance 
of $39.78 in the Treasury. 

During the past year earnest appeals have not been wanting 
to the officers of the several regiments which have been sent 
from our State for the national defence, to keep diaries, and 
preserve war trophies and relics, for the Society — some few 
scattering fruits have already resulted therefrom; but a much 
larger harvest, we trust, is yet to come. 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 11 

The Library additions, so far as bound volumes are con^ 
cerned, have not been quite equal to the year preceding, while 
the pamphlets and unbound documents exliibit a large in- 
crease. A year since the Library numbered 8,503 bound vol- 
umes, and 7,318 unboimd documents and pamphlets, or an ag- 
gregate of 15,821. The past year has added 544 bound vol- 
umes, and 2,373 unbound documents and pamphlets — or 
2,917 together; so that the total number of volumes nov7 in 
the Library, bound and unbound, aggregate 18,733. Of these, 
674 are folios, and 790 quartos, after deducting about 44 du- 
plicate quartos, which have been exchanged for works of les- 
ser size; while the remainder of the works are chiefly octavos. 
Another year, with proper interest and industi-y on the part of 
the officers, members and friends of the Society, should bring 
the Library up to fully 20,000 volumes. 

During the nine years since the efficient re-organization of 
the Society, the total cash disbursements of the Society have 
been $9,128.36, of which $5,031.79 has been for books alone, 
and $4,096.57 for rents, fuel, postage, cataloguing, and other 
incidental purposes. These figures will probably show that a 
larger portion of the total amount expended, has been for 
books alone, than in any similar instance that can be cited in 
the history of a public library. The average annual book 
expenditure has been $459.08, and $455.17 for incidental 

Among the more important and noticeable additions of the 
year is a nearly completed set of the Transactions of the Boyal 
Society, London, from 1665 to 1835, in 137 volumes, in fine 
condition. This rare and valuable work, together with 1,921 
unbound documents and pamphlets, upon historical, scientific, 
literary and other subjects, were purchased at the sale of the 
library of the late learned Dr. John W. Francis, LL. D., ^vho 
died in Xew York city in February, 1861, in his seventy-sec- 
ond year, and who was one of the founders of the ^s"ew \ ork 
Historical Society, and a member of many of the learned as- 
sociations of both continents. It is a matter of no small mo- 
ment, that our Society has been so fortunate as to secure such 

12 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

valuable literary treasures from the library of so eminent a 
scholar, author and antiquary. 

A file of the Pennsylvania Gazette, for eight and a half 
consecutive years, from July, 1755, to the close of December, 
1763, conducted by the American Philosopher Franklin, is a 
rare and precious relic of the past century, which has been se- 
cured, by purchase, from Joseph Musser, an aged resident on 
the borders of Wisconsin and Illinois, whose ancestors in 
Pennsylvania took and preserved the numbers as they ap- 
peared, and the whole has been kept as an heir-loom in the 
family for the past one hundred years. The Society is greatly 
indebted to Hon. J. W. Stewart, of Greene county, for his 
services in securing this venerable addition to our newspaper 
collection. This paper gives us a most interesting accoimt, 
from v/eek to week, of the progress of the old French and In- 
dian war of that period, when Washington, Putnam, Gates, 
Marion and others of th^ chiefs of the Bevolution, held but 
subordinate military positions, and were being schooled for 
their subsequent great and useful services to their country. 

Tenth Annual Report, January 2, 1864 

The Treasurer's Report shows the financial condition of the 
Society for the past year — exhibiting $1,042.78 received, in- 
cluding the small balance on hand at the commencement of 
the year, and $852.17 disbursed, leaving an unexpended bal- 
ance of $190.61. During the ten active years of the Society's 
existence, the total cash disbursements have been $9,980.53; 
of which $5,387.79 has been for books and binding alone, and 
^1,592.71 for rents, fuel, postage, cataloguing, and other inci- 
dental expenses — thus exhibiting an average annual book ex- 
penditure of $538.78 against $459'.27 for incidental purposes. 

During the past year, the Library additions have been 248 
volumes, and 356 unbound documents and pamphlets, making 
the total addition 604. Of these 112 are bound volumes of 
newspapers, of folio size, 5 volumes of quarto size, the rest 
being chiefly octavos. There are now in the Library 790 vol- 
umes of folios, and 795 quartos. 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 13 

The whole number of boimd newspaper files in the Li- 
brary reported last year, was 811 ; we now add as the result of 
another year's efforts, 112 volumes — ^making a total of 923 
volumes in the newspaper department. Of these additions, 
the Boston Evening Post, 1769-74, in three folio volumes; the 
Pennsylvania Packet and Advertiser, from 1782 to 1822, 
nearly complete, and from 1831 to 1838, inclusive, in 79 vol- 
umes; the Carolina Gazette, 1798-1800, 1 volimie; and the 
Western Courier, Louisville, Ky., 1813-1,6, 1 volume, deserve 
special notice. 

A brief resume of some of the more important additions to 
the Library during the past ten years, wilP enable us better 
to comprehend their extent and value. Among these may be 
enumerated the Gentleman's "Magazine, from 1731 to 1833, in 
156 volumes; the Monthly Review, from 1749 to 1828, 203 
volumes; European Magazine, from 1782 to 1823, in 84 vol- 
umes; Dodsley^s Annual Register, 1758 to 1854, 95 volumes; 
Edinburgh Annual Register, from 1810 to 1825, 23 voliunes; 
Folitical Magazine, from 1780 to 1891, 21 volumes; Literary 
Magazine, from 1788 to 1794, 12 volumes; Port Folio, 27 vol- 
umes; American Museum, from 1787 to 1792, 11 volumes; 
Analectic Magazine, 11 volumes; jSTiles's Register, from 1811 
to 1849, 74 volumes; Transactions of the Koyal Society, Lon- 
don, from 1665 to 1835, 137 volumes; Repository of Arts and 
Sciences, 10 volumes; J3r it ish State Papers — Rolls Office Pub- 
lications, 65 volumes, the Senat^or and Parliamentary Register 
of Debates, 38 volumes; Universal History, 38 volumes; Brit- 
ish Annual Obituary, 20 volumes; Rees' Cyclopedia, 45 vol- 
umes; Appleton's New Cyclopedia, 16 volumes; Marshall's 
Naval Biography, 12 volumes; Transactions of the Spanish 
Royal Academy of History, at Madrid, 32 volumes; Annals of 
Congress, 42 volumes; Congressional Globe and Appendix, 40 
volumes; Transactions of American Philosophical Society, 17 
volumes; Publications, Smithsonian Institution, 11 vohinies; 
American Archives, 9 volumes; Plymouth and Massachusetts 
Records, 16 volumes; Xew York. Colonial Documents, and 
Docuriientary History, 14 volumes; Pennsylvania Archives and 

14 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Becords, 24 volumes; the North American Review, in part; 
Transactions of the JTmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences, 
in part; the publications nearly complete of all our American 
historical and antiquarian societies; collections of voyages, 
biographical dictionaries, and a very large and invaluable col- 
lection on the early French explorers and explorations of 
the ISTorth-West, on American genealogy and American bib- 

Probably few historical or literary institutions in oui* coun- 
try have succeeded, in so brief a period, in accumulating so 
rich and rare a collection of American and English newspa- 
per files of the last century as it has been our good fortune 
to bring together. It is probably much more extensive than 
has been supposed even by those most familiar with that de- 
partment of our collections. As a matter of general interest 
we give a list of such files as were published in the last cen- 
tury alone — being only about one-ninth of our whole newspa- 
per collection, yet this particular portion numbers 123 volumes 
and may almost be literally said to be worth their weight in 

London Gazette 

True Briton 

Edinburgh Evening Courant. . . 

Pennsylvania Gazette . 

London Evening Post 

London Evening Post , 

Edinburgh Chronicle 

Edinburgh Chronicle 

Maryland Gazette 

Maryland Gazette 

Boston Gazette 

Edinburgh Advertiser 

Boston Chronicle . . 

Boston Evening Post, &c 

Boston Evening Post, &c. . . . 
Boston Evening Post, &c.... 

Edinburgh Advertiser 

Boston Evening Post, &c 

Edinburgh Advertiser 

Boston and New York Papers 
Pennsylvania Gazette, &c. . . . 
Pennsylvania Evening Post . . 

Boston Gazette, &c 

Boston Journal, &c 

Boston Journal, &c 

Edinburgh Advertiser 

Boston and New York Paners 

"Vol. Year. 

1 1680-82 

1 . 172^-24 

, 1 1727 

4 1755-6a 

1 1757-58 

1 1757-59 

. 1 1759 

. 1 17G0 

. 1 1760-62 

, 1 1763-67 

1 1764 

. 1 1765 

. 1 1867-68 

, 1 1769 

. 1 1770 

. 1 1771 

, 1 1772 

. 1 1772-73 

. 1 1773 

. 1 1774 

. 1 1775 

. 1 1776-77 

. 1 1776-77 

. 1 1778 

1 1770 

. 1 1779 

. 1 1780-83 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 15 

Eoyal Jamaica Gazette 1 1782 

Pennsylvania Packet 1 1782 

Boston Chronicle , 1 1782-84 

Pennsylvania! Packet 2 1783 

EMinburgh Advertiser 1 1783 

Maryland Gazette 1 1784 

Edinburgti Advertiser 2 1784 

Edinburgh Advertiser 1 1785 

Pennsylvania Journal 1 1785 

Pennsylvania Packet 3 1786 

Massachusetts Gazette 1 1786 

Edinburgh Advertiser 1 1786 

Pennsylvania Packet 2 1787 

New York Journal 1 1787-88 

Pennsylvania Packet 2 1788 

Pennsylvania Journal 1 1788 

United Sta,tes Gazette 1 1789-90 

Pennsylvania Packet 1 1790 

Uaited States Gazette 1 1790-91 

Pennsylvania Advertiser 1 1791 

London Chronicle 1 1791 

London Chronicle 1 1792 

Pennsylvania Advertiser 2 1792 

Massachusetts Spy 2 1792 

London Chronicle 1 1793 

Poughkeepsie Journal 1 1793-94 

Massachusetts Spy , 1 1793-94 

New York Diary 1 1794 

London Chronicle 1 1794 

Philadelphia Advertiser 1 1794-95 

Baltimore Intelligencer 1 1794 

Baltimore Gazette 1 1795 

United States Gazette 1 1795-96 

Philadelphia New World 1 1795-97 

Philadelphia Minerva 1 1795-99 

Pennsylvania Advertiser 2 1796 

Massachusetts Spy 1 1796 

Pennsylvania Advertiser 3 1797 

Massachusetts Spy 1 1'*'97 

New York Time Piece 1 1797-98 

New York Journal 1 1797-99 

Philadelphia Advertiser 2 1798 

Philadelphia Advertiser 1 1708-09 

Columbian Centinel 1 1798 

Carolina Gazette 1 1798-99 

Columbian Centinel 1 1790 

Baltimore Gazette 1 1"^^ 

London Gazette 34 1767-99 

Ten years ago this very mantli, Gen. W. K. Smith, Eev. 
Charles Lord, Hon. Hiram A. Wright, Dr. Jolrn TV. Hunt, 
Prof. O. M. Conover, S. H. Carpenter and L. C. Dra- 
per, met in the office of State Superintendent AVright, in 
the ISTorth West comer room of the main floor of the old cap- 
itol, adopted a new constitution, and re-organized the Society 

1 6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

under tlie charter obtained the year previous. The Society 
had had a nominal existence for five years, and had secured a 
small book-case, three and a half feet wide, and four feet high^ 
containing four shelves. During the first year, Frank Hud- 
eon — the first donor to the Society — contributed two volumes 
of Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, and an 
original drawing of a lizard-shaped mound, discovered by him^ 
in 1842, near Third Lake, in Madison; a bibliogi-aphical vol- 
ume on the Literature of American Local History, was re- 
ceived from the author, Herman E. Ludewig, of Xew York; 
and a patent deed of land in the State of I^ew York, dated 
1794, and signed by Gov. George Clinton, from Dr. J. W. 
Hunt. Gen. \Y. R. Smith delivered the first anniversary ad- 
dress. And thus we have the sum total of the first yearns do- 
ings and collections of the Society. During Gov. Farwell's 
term, he caused a set of the Territorial and State Legislative 
J oumals to be placed on the shelves as the gift of the State ; an 
unbound file of three or four years of the Milwaukee Wiscon- 
sin accumulated; and Hon. M. L. Martin delivered an histo- 
rical address, and Rev. A. Brunson and Joshua Hathaway con- 
tributed historical papers. Thus the first five years' gather- 
ings of the Society did not exceed fifty volumes; and consid- 
erable unoccupied space was still left in the small book-case. 
This case — which we still retain — occupied a conspicuous plax^e 
in the Executive office during the administrations of Governors 
Dewey and Earwell, with a lettered plate at the top, "State 
Historical Society." The Society during that period was cer- 
tainly in no very prosperous condition. 

But at the annual meetin/i: of January, 1854, it was resolved 
to make an earnest effort to accomplish something commen- 
surate mth the hopes and purposes of such an institution. A 
circular was directed to be prepared and distributed by the 
Corresponding Secretary, appealing for suitable contributions 
for a Library and Cabinet. A committee was appointed to 
memorialize the Legislature for an annual appropriation to aid 
the Society in its objects and collections; and when the Sec- 
retary read the memorial he had prepared for that purpose, to 

1867] Annual Reports, 1 860-66 17 

Gen. W. E. Smith, the latter approved the general scope of 
the document, but strenuously objected to asking for so large 
an appropriation as five hundred dollars a year — two hun- 
dred, he thought, was as much as should be asked for; that 
by asking for five hundred, we should defeat the whole 
object, and get nothing. The Secretary replied, that he 
thought the Legislature would as readily grant five hundred 
as two hundred for such a purpose; that little could be 
accomplished with two hundred dollars, but vdth five hun- 
dred, we could make a beginning, and he was willing the 
wisdom of the appropriation should be judged by its results. 
While the old General shook his head in doubt, the memorial 
was signed by the committee, and a few others — ^was pre- 
sented to the Assembly by Judge Orton, then the jiadison 
representative, who had it referred to the committee on State 
affairs, of which Hon. Sam. Hale, of Kenosha, was chairman. 
At Judge Orton's suggestion, Judge Hale and his committee 
spent a Saturday afternoon with the Secretary, at his private 
library, who entertained them with an exhibition of his private 
collections on Western history; and the committee concluded — 
we hope wisely — that if a single individual could accomplish 
so much, what might not the associated effort of a whole State, 
like Wisconsin, effect? They unanimously recommended the 
passage of an act in accordance with the prayer of the memo- 
rialists — and, with the friendly attention of Judge Orton in 
the Assembly, and Beriah Brown's efforts among the Sen- 
ators, the bill passed without any material opposition. This 
was the beginning of friendly legislative action in the Society's 
behalf, which has since led Hon. Kichard S. Field of iS^ew 
Jersey, to point to its success as the result of the ^'enlightened 
liberality of the Legislature of Wisconsin." 

At the re-organization of the Society, in January, 1854, Dr. 
Hunt was chosen Librarian, and transferred the Society's book- 
case from the Executive Eoom to the office of the Secretary of 
State, where it remained that year; though long before the 
year closed, it was crowded with additions to the Library, and 

i8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

several hundred volumes had to be stored in the private library 
of the Secretary. In January, 1855, a small room, 15 feet 
square, in the south-eastern corner of the basement of the Bap- 
tist Church, was rented and occupied for two years, when fur- 
ther room was needed — and in January, 1857, a room on the 
vest side of the basement of the same building, forty-four feet 
in length by fourteen in breadth, was rented and occupied for 
one year — when we removed into our present quarters, which 
have since been somewhat enlarged. Our rooms, covering a 
ground area of 45 by 60 feet, are so well packed, that further 
extension would be exceedingly desirable. 

More room we must have, sooner or later — and the next re- 
moval should be a permanent one and to a fire-proof building, 
if possible. A few friends sufficiently realize its importance, 
and evince their willingness to lend a generous helping hand in 
providing a fund for a fire-proof building sufficiently commo- 
dious for the present and prospective wants of the Society. 
Will not the friends of the Society in Madison and elsewhere, 
resolve to make suitable provisions for this greatly needed ed- 
ifice ? 

And when, ten years hence, those who may have the man- 
agement of the Society, meet to review its progress during ita 
second decade, may we not fondly hope that they may have — 
not twenty thousand volumes, as our present number nearlj 
approaches — but twice twenty thousand volumes upon its 
shelves, in a durable fire-proof building, worthy of our noble 
Society, and worthy too of its generous, unflagging friends 
who, from first to last, have sturdily and manfully adhered to 
its fortunes ? 

Eleventh Annual Report, January 3, 1865 

The Treasurer's Keport exhibits the receipts of the Society, 
uicluding the balance on hand at the commencement of the 
year, $1,241.01 — the disbursements, $1,226 64, leaving an un- 
expended balance of $14.97. Among the receipts of the year, 
it is pleasant to notice a donation of $50 from the venerable 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 19 

James Boorman, of the state iof N'ew York, an Honorary 
Member of tlie Society, and a gentleman of proverbial benev- 
olence. Of this expenditure, $609.10 bas been for books and 
binding, and $617.54 for rent and other expenses. 

During the eleven years the Society has received State aid, 
our total disbursements from the general fund has been $11- 
207.17; of which $5,996.89' has been for books and binding, 
and $5,210.17 for rents, fuel, postage, cataloguing and other 
incidental expenses — thus exhibiting an average annual book 
expenditure of $545.17, and $473.66 for other purposes. 

During the past year, the Library additions have been 520 
voliunes, and 226 pamphlets and unbound documents — making^ 
of both together, 746 ; of which 242 were secured by purchase, 
and 504 by donation and exchange. Of this increase, 34 are 
quartos, 161 folios, the rest being chiefly octavos. The Library 
now numbers 829 quartos, and 951 folios, which may he re- 
garded as a large proportion of such works for a collection of 
its size. 

Among the past year's additions are 163 bound volumes of 
newspapers — ten of them of the last century; making the to- 
tal number of bound files in the newspaper department 1,08 G 
— of which 132 were published in the last century, and one 
volume in the century preceding. A majority of the bound 
files added the past year cover the period of our civil war, and 
embrace three leading dailies of ^ew York city, one of Cin- 
cinnati, and four of our own State — the remainder are week- 
lies. The ten volumes of the last century range from 1755 to 
1788. At a recent sale of the literary effects of the late Rev. 
John D. Shane — a singularly industrious collector of matters 
pertaining to Western history, 37 valuable volumes of news- 
papers were secured; among them are files of papers pub- 
lished in Cape Town, Africa, Sandwich Islands, Melbounie, in 
Australia, Liberia, China, Smyrna, Constantinople, J^^ew Zea- 
land, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, CaKfomia, AVashingron and 
Utah Territories; and the Cherokee Phoenix — remarkable in 
the history of newspaper literature — established thirty-fivo 
years ago, and printed chiefly in Cherokee, though a part of 

2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vo]. v 

the English alphabet \vas used by Geokge Guess, or Sequo- 
yah, a half breed Cherokee, the inventor of a syllabic alpha- 
bet of his native lang^uage, though he was himself unable to 
read, and had no knowledge of any language save his o^vn. 
These curious files, representing the newspaper literature of 
60 many distant and diversified countries, will be examined 
with singular interest by all classes of visitors. 

Our newspaper files are becoming more and more complete 
and consecutive, and consequently more valuable and useful 
for all the purposes of history, statistics and general reference. 
There are but few collections of the kind in the country that 
exceed it — <:ertainly none west of the ^ew England States, 
!N'ew York and Pennsylvania. It is invaluable and richly re- 
pays the labor and expenditure necessary to its collection ; and 
the Society should continue to make it^ newspaper department 
a special object of attention and augmentation. Such files 
serve to preserve, among other things, a vast number of state- 
ments and narratives relative to our unhappy internecine war, 
which will prove invaluable, and almost inexhaustible, sources 
of reference to the future historian of these troubled times. 

Efforts have been made to secure pledges for a sufficient 
amount, payable in five equal annual installments, to erect a 
fire-proof building for the use of the Society. Success did 
not equal the efforts made. In these exciting war-times, with 
BO much uncertainty attending all business calculations, most 
men are timid and cautious about making pecuniary pledges 
beyond what their necessities imperatively require As the 
lease for the rooms now occupied by the Society expires with 
the present year, and ampler accommodations are demanded 
for our steadily increasing collection, the Executive Committee 
has concluded to seek suitable rooms in the Capitol, where 
greater conveniences, and increased safety from fire, \vil\ be 
secured. We cannot but hope that those having this matter in 
charge will generously respond to this request, and thus ren- 
der the Library— now scarcely .second in numbers or variety to 
any in the West — more accessible and useful to the State offi- 
cers, Supreme Court and Legislature. It is quite certain that 

1867] Annual Reports, 1860-66 21 

the Library, Cabinet and Art Gallery would, in sucb new 
quarters as it is hoped will be assigned for their reception, pre- 
sent an attractiveness which could never be expected in the 
cramped, ill-suited basement apartments we now occupy; and 
give to the whole collection a higher estimate of intrinsic and 
literary value than has hitherto been generally accorded to it. 

Twelfth Annual Report, January 2, 1866. 

The receipts of the year were $1,057.97; the disbursement** 
$1,051.53 — leaving an miexpended balance in the treasury of 
$6.44. Of this expenditure, $661.12 has been for books, 
newspaper files and maps, and $390.41 for rent and other 
purposes — exhibiting $115.95 above the average amount ex- 
pended for books, and $83.25 less than the average for miscel^ 
laneous purposes. 

During the year, the Library additions have been 3,68 vol- 
umes, and 806 unbound documents and pamphlets; making 
together 1,174 volumes and documents. Of the volumes 
proper, 170 were purchased, and 198 secured by donation and 
binding up newspaper files; of these 35 are quartos, and 50 
folios — making a total in the Library of 1,001 folios, and S64 

To the Newspaper Department have been added 50 bound 
volumes, of which six volumes are the Ferv.isylvania Gozcitej 
published by Dr. Franklin, in 1728 29; 1739-40; 1753-55; 
and 17 64 — ^making, altogether, fifteen years of this rare ioid 
valuable newspaper file. A collection of 137 maps and at- 
lases has been added to that department — many of theiu 
early and rare American maps — Speed's of 1626; others of 
1675; one of Quebec, 1694; and 40 different American Colo- 
nial maps from 1700 to 1775, and 19 maps and battle plain 
of the Eevolution, 1775-83. The atlas, map and diairnHn ' "l- 
lection now exceeds 400 in number; and they fonn a cnrK.iH 
Btudy of American geogi-aphy, settlement and progi'css. 

For several years past, the great want of tlie Society .la.-s 
been to secure safer and more ample accommodations. To «Hir 

22 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voir 

appeal, the Legislature responded promptly and generously, 
by setting apart for our use a fine suite of rooms, occupying the 
entire second main story of the south wing of the new CapitoL 
That want happily supplied, we can now turn our attention to 
the pressing necessity for re-commencing the publication of 
Collections and Transactions. Such a volume, if issued only 
once in three years would prove a powerful stimulant in se- 
curing historical narratives, which, persons competent to 
write them, are now slow to prepare and furnish, with no cer- 
tain prospect of their publication for many years. !N"ever was 
there a time when so many deeply interesting, and, in soma 
cases, even thrilling narratives, could be secured as now — 
with reference not only to the early settlement of our State, 
but to the heroic part performed by Wisconsin's sons in the 
recent war for the Union. Our own means are too limited to 
warrant such an enterprise; but, perhaps, the Legislature 
might authorize such publication, to commence two or three 
years hence, and limiting its issue to every three years there- 
after — or by yearly installments. 

Just eleven years ago the Society moved into this building,* 
with a thousand and fifty volumes, and one thousand pamph- 
lets in its Library; and each returning anniversary meeting 
has shown a steady annual increase, sufficient, we trust, to 
meet the reasonable expectations of all. Designing, in a few 
days, to remove, with our twenty-one thousand volumes and 
documents, to the new suite of rooms so fittingly prepared for 
our reception by the State, may we not hope tliat our im- 
proved facilities and accommodations will stimulate every true 
friend of the Society to redoubled efforts and exertions for its 
increased prosperity? 

•The basement of the Baptist Church. 

1867] Thirteenth Annual Report 23 

Thirteenth Annual Report 


^ever before has the Society met under such favorable 
auspices as on the present occasion. Last year we assembled 
for the last time in our old, cramped and uninviting rooms — 
now in our new commodious, light, airy and tasty apartments. 
Immediately succeeding our last annual meeting, several weeks 
were necessarily devoted to the removal of the Library and 
collections, re-arranging and placing them in the cases in tEe 
Cabinet, and in the Gallery ; and, in effecting this removal, it 
is but an act of simple justice to gi*atefully acknowledge the aid 
and friendly offices of Gov. Faiechild^ Superintendent Cole- 
MAis^, and Assistant Superintendent ZsIekeditii. This trans- 
fer from our old quarters to our new suite of rooms has impar- 
ted to the whole collection. Books, Cabinet, and Art Gallery — 
with their improved arrangement and better display — an in- 
t<^rest and importance never before adequately comprehended 
or realized, even by the oldest and most devoted friends of the 

Removal — Dedication — Visitors 

Gratified, as we are, wath the happy change and improved 
appearance of our collections, we must feel doubly so when 
we realize that these attractions and conveniences draw, as they 
have, a largely increased number of visitors to our rooms — 
thus greatly augmenting the popularity and usefulness of the 
institution. The large attendance on tlie occasion of the ded- 

2 4- Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

ication of our new rooms, on the 24tli of Jamiarv la^st, when 
President Lapha:m and ex-Gov. Salomox delivered appropri- 
ate addresses, proved but a precursor of the steadv interest 
manifested in the Library and Collections during the entire 
year. While in our old rooms, the visitors, from the data kept 
by the Librarian, numbered ten to twelve thousand annually; 
and, during the past year the number could scarcely have been 
less than fifteen or twenty thousand. The unflagging interest 
thus manifested is the best evidence of the worth and useful- 
ness of the Society ; and this will be better appreciated, when 
it is contrasted with comparatively few visitors to similar 
institutions in some of the older States. When your Secretary 
visited one of them, where some forty thousand dollars had 
been expended in providing a fine library building, he asked the 
custodian of the attractive rooms and valuable collection, how 
many visitors, during the year, honored themselves and the 
library with their presence. The reply was ''about one hun- 
dred and fifty.'' 

Publication of Transactions 

Another event of no small importance to the usefulness and 
growth of the Society, occurring the past year, deserves special 
notice — the authorization by the Legislature of the re-com- 
mencement of the publication of our Eeports and Collections, 
on good paper; not a volume a year as formerly, but a hun- 
dred and fifty pages, so that three successive yearly install- 
ments will serve to form a full volume. By the exercise of 
careful scrutiny in the admission of none but really valuable 
historical papers, we shall be able to publish much useful in- 
formation pertaining to the early settlement and progressive 
improvement of Wisconsin, and the worthy part our State and 
people have taken in the late war for the preservation of the 
Union. The regular publication of our Collections, commen- 
cing with the present year, will tend to stimulate, we may 
fondly hope, the contribution of much valuable historic mat- 
ter which would otherwise be finally buried in the grave with 

1867] Thirteenth Annual Report 2 

their possessors; and while such an annual report goes forth, 
it will bear upon its face the evidence that ours is a live Society 
doing well its part in garnering and preserving the past and 
passing history of our portion of the Great Republic. And 
it will, furthermore, furnish a means of literary exchange with 
scientific and historical associations as well as individuals, and 
thus enable our Society to add largely to its Library and other 

Receipts and Disbursements 

The Treasurer's Report exhibits the receipts and disburstr 
inents of the year. Including the small balance on hand at 
the commencement of the year, the receipts have been, 
$1,044.9-1, and the disbursements $92S.02 — leaving an unex- 
pended balance of $116.02 in tlie Treasury. Of this expend- 
iture, $778.04 has been for books, papers, freight and binding 
— all relating to the direct increase of the Library, and 
$149.98 for postage, printing, repairs and incidental purposes. 
In no former year have the expenses been proportionately so 
large for the Library proper, and the incidental expenses so 

Library Additions 

During the past year^ the Library additions have been 923 
volumes, and 2,711 unbound documents and pamphlets, num- 
bering together 3,634. Of the volumes proper, 210 were pur- 
chased, including newspaper files, bound by order of the Soci- 
ety, and 713 donated; and, of this number, 50 ai*e quart<->. 
123 folios, and the rest chiefly of octavo size The Library 
now includes 1,124 folios, and 914 quartos. To our newspa- 
per department have been added 160 bound vohmips, niakinj^ 
the total number in the collection 1,296— of which 138 wore 
published in the last century, and one in the centur.y pre<:ed- 

2 6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Progressive Library Increase 

The past and present condition of the Library are shown m 
the following table: 

1 In i-A 




Total in 


and pamp's. 



1854, Jan. 1 




1855, Jan. 2 





1856, Jan. 1 





1857, Jan. 6 





1858, Jan. 1 





1859, Jan. 4 





1860, Jan. 3 



2,528 - 


1861, Jan. 2 





1862, Jan. 2 





1863, Jan. 2 


• 2,373 



1864, Jan. 2 





1865, Jan. 3 




20 092 

1866, Jan. 2 





1867, Jan. 3 






13, 899 


Extent of Library Additions 

It will be seen by these figures, that the book additions have 
been larger the past year than for either of the six years pre- 
ceding, and with the book and pamphlet additions together, 
larger than any previous year in the history of the Society. 
These additions are varied and valuable, imparting additional 
interest and completeness to the several departments of history 
and biography, science, newspaper and magazine literature, 
statistics, bibliography^ genealog}^ and local history, works on 
the late rebellion, and several volumes of the valuable re- 
prints and translations of W. Elliot Woodwaed's, Joseph 
Sabix^s^ and Jonx G. Shea's historical series. 

Character of the more Important Donations 

The peculiarity of the yeai-'s additions have been a large 
contribution of Madison newspaper files, from S. D. Caepen- 
TEE, and a valuable donation of Xew York and Madison pa- 

1867] Thirteenth Annual Report 27 

per files, from Messrs. Delaplaixe & Bukdick; twenty-one 
volumes of the Congressional Glohe, to complete our set, from 
Hon. J. R. Doolittee; a fine collection of educational pam- 
phlets and documents, from Prof. C. H. Allen ; a choice col- 
kction of 122 war pamphlets, and several bound volumes, 
from RoBEET Claeke, of Cincinnati, and a valuable file of the 
Scientific American, and other serials, from Gen. James Eich- 
AEDSON. We have secured, by purchase, an exceedingly de- 
sirable collection of pamphlets and documents on the rebellion, 
numbering about sixteen hundred, making our entire collec- 
tion on that subject nearly nineteen hundred. 

Principal Donors of the Year 

Beside the generous donors just named, we gratefully ac- 
knowledge donations also from Hon. J. R. Doolittle^ Horn 
T. O. Howe, Hon. W. D. HcIxdoe. F. A. Holden^ Alanson 
Holly, Job.^ S. Dean, F. W. Case, Gen. Simeon Mills, 
Gen. James Sutiterlaxd, Silas Chapman, Col. S. V. Snip- 
MAN^ E. B. QuiNEK, Gov. Faiechild, G. W. Fanestock, Gen- 
A. Gayloed, Col. F. H. Fiemin, B. W. Suckow, Rev. Geo. 
Fellows, Mrs. Ballaed, Maj. A. H. Latoue, J. H. Shep- 
PAED^ J. D. Baldwin, J. Gallaghee, Lieut. L. W. Pieece, 
Hon. J. H. Rounteee, C. E. Beoss, E. W. Yotjng/0. J. 
HoADLEY, E. Shippen, H. B. Dawson, O. H. Marshall, 
J. R. Baetlett, J. F. Bates, S. Hayden, and J. H. 
Ray; also from the States of Wisconsin, Vermont, 
Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, Iowa, and Kansas; and 
from the American Philosophical Society, American Antiqua- 
rian Society, Xew England Genealogical Society, the Massa- 
chusetts, K"ew Hampshire, Rhode Island, Chicago and Fire 
Lands Historical Societies, and the Boston Public Library. 

Pamphlet Additions 

Aside from the large purchase of pamphlets and <locHnicnt3 
on the Rebellion, the additions to the pamphlet department 
have been large and valuable. . The fine donation of educa- 

2 8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. v 

tional documents by Prof. C. H. Allex, and of war pamph- 
lets by EoBEJST Claeke^ have been already adverted to; 
other donors have been: Gen. Si:meon Miles, 168; G. W. 
Faxestock, 162: Gov. Faiechild, ,69: Hon. T. O. Howe, 
36; S. H. Carpextek, 15; Col. S. V. Shipmax, 12; Chicago 
Historical Society, 9 ; Hon. C. A. Eldridge, S^; X. C. Dea- 
PEB, 7 ; G. B. Hoedex, 6 ; and many others a lesser number. 

Map and Atlas Department 

To the map and atlas department but a single addition has 
been made — a chart of Libby Prison, from Capt. N'at. Eol- 
LIN9. The atlases, maps, charts and diagi'ams in onr collec- 
tion exceed four hundred. 

Magazines and Newspapers 

Seventy-five magazines, newspapers and serials come regu- 
larly to the Society, all, except six, as donations. The daily 
papers are bound, and placed on the shelves for reference, a3 
frequently as there are enough of a kind for binding; the 
weeklies are laid aside till not less than three years of a kind 
are accumulated, which serve to make a volume of sufficient 
thickness for binding and lettering. 

Portrait Gallery 

To the Art Gallery three portraits have been added during 
the year. One of Hon. Daxiel AYeles, Jr., an early Mil- 
waukee pioneer, who served in the Territorial Legislature, and 
since in Congi-ess — painted by S. M. BpvOOXEs, and presented 
by Mr. Wells; one of the late Hon. Joshua Hathaway, an 
early seti^ler of ^Milwaukee ; and one of Rt. Rev. Johx M. 
Hexxi, Catholic Bishop of Wisconsin — both painted by Ber- 
nard J. DoinvARD, and presented by Mrs. Axxe J. Hatha- 
way, of ^niwaukee, in fulfillment of a promise of her late hus- 
band, Mr. Hathaway. We have now sixty oil paintings in 
our Gallery, and, it is to be hoped, now that we have good 

1867] Thirteenth Annual Report 29 

apartments for the display of paintings, tliat otliers of our 
Wisconsin pioneers and war lieroes will furnish theirs at an 
-early day. 

Additions to the Cabinet 

Nine Indian relics and curiosities ; twenty-one specimens ot 
Confederate and Southern shinplaster currency; one hundred 
and eighteen coins and tokens; twenty specimens of natural 
history; about fifty war relics, and twelve miscellaneous arti- 
cles — making a total of two hundred and thirty additions to 
the Cabinet. i\j:nong them, a copper coin, of the reign of Louis 
XIV of France, dated 1655, found at Ashford, Fond du Lac 
county, from X. B Bull; a fine three penny piece of the reign 
of William and MxVEy, 1689, from Samuel Barber, Men- 
•dota; a ''I\Lind Your Business'' penny, 1787, from W:\i. Hoef- 
LiNG, Mendota; a fine collection of 51 tradesmen's tokens, and 
six European coins, from W. H. Holt ; also a fine collection 
of 57 tokens from 1. A. Lapha:m; a large and valuable speci- 
men of lead ore, weighing 196 pounds, almost pure, from 
Eidgeway, Wis., from Hon. X. W. Deax ; fine specimens of 
lead ore from Hazel Green, Platteville and Galena, and cinna- 
bar from the AlamanJen mine, Cal., from Hon. D. J. Seely ; 
a fine collection of shells and other war relics from jMaj. H. A. 
Te:xi^ey, J. H. McFARLA^fE, Capt. G. Jacksox, Hon. L. S. 
DixoN^ Isaac Markixs, Mrs. S. A. Barton, Capt. C. H. 
Barton-, ^drs. S". H. Smith, A. J. Cole and D. W. Fernan- 
dez, including a large rebel flag captured by the 12th Wis. 
volunteers at Orangeburg, S'. C, Feb. 12th, 1865 ; a proclama- 
tion of Sir W:^[. Berkeley, Governor of A^irginia, 1611 60, 
found at AVarwivk C. H., Va., from J. W. Winter; a wax 
candle, said to have been brought to America in the reign of 
Charles II; Isaac Baldwin's Yale College Diploma, Sept 
10, 1S;J5 : an ivory cmie head, curiously inlaid, said to have 
bfen made by a French prisoner in the Bastile, from ^Irs. E. 
M. V\'TLLTA:\rsoN ; a piece of Vvccd and a piece of Avail ])apcr 
from the private box in Ford's Theatre, in which President 
Lincoln was shot, from J. S. Bliss; a fac simile letter, folded 

30 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voiv 

and bound in miniature book form, of Gen. Cass to the Chicago- 
Internal Improvement convention, 1848, from Gen. David At- 
wood; and the seal of the village of Madison, 1846, from T.. 


Endowment Needed — Conclusion 

There is probably no similar Society in the country that has 
done so much with such limited means, as ours — ^much that we 
have accomplished having been secured by donations. While 
our annual means remain substantially the same as in former 
years, the cost of all new books, as well as old historical liter- 
ature, has very largely increased — hence we cannot now pur- 
chase as many volumes in a year as before the war; and thia 
enhanced cost of books tends to restrict book buyers, and 
hence necessarily lessens book-givers. Very much of the old 
historical literature, as well as the new issues, are beyond our 
reach — our means being too small for our varied purposes of 
binding, postage, freight, and incidental expenses, to enable 
us to purchase only a tithe of what we ought to secure. 

In this dilemma we ought more earnestly than ever before 
to take energetic action to secure Endowment Funds, as many 
of the kindred institutions of our country are doing. Prob- 
ably a Binding Fund would be the most desirable with which 
to commence. Had we such a fund, of from three to five 
thousand dollars, the income from it would enable us to do 
much needed binding each successive year, of which we now 
have necessarily to deny ourselves— our thousands of classified 
pamphlets, and our new addition of Kebellion documents, are 
of this class. With such a fund secured, our General Fund 
would be relieved of a heavy tax, and thus enable us to pur- 
chase more largely of works on history, science and solid lit- 
erature. The commencement of a Binding Fund might be 
made by subscription, payable one-fifth a year till all be paid, 
and thus render it of easy pajanent; a series of lectures might 
be provided in our rooms from good speakers in the State, who 
could be secured at a little or no cost to the Society ; and our 
lady friends of Madison would gladly, no doubt, talvc the lead 

1867] Thirteenth Annual Report 3 1 

iQ an Annual Festival for the benefit of such a fund. Cannot 
some such idea be adopted, and pushed forward with unflagging 
energy till success should cro"wn the effort? What other So- 
cieties have done, ours can do if we try. 

At the close of eighteen years from the formation of the 
-Society, and thirteen since its re-organization — whence its real 
prosperity may be dated — we report, with no small pride and 
pleasure, a Library of twenty-five thousand volumes, bound 
and unbound, including nearly thirteen hundred bound vol- 
umes of newspaper files, over four hundred maps end atlases, 
four volmnes of published Reports and Collections, several hun- 
dred manuscripts, a Gallery of sixty oil paintings, and a Cabi- 
net of curiosities, embracing objects of virtu from almost every 
portion of the globe. 

32 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. r 

Officers for i860 


GEN. WM. R. SMITH, of Mineral Point. 


I. A. LAPHAM, LL. D., Milwaukee; Hon. A. I. BENNETT, Beloit; 
Hon. L. J. FARWELL, Westport; CYRUS WOODMAN. Mineral Point; 

Hon. M. M. DAVIS, Portage; Rev. A. BRUNSON, Prairie du CJiien. 

Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary — S. V. SHIPMAN. 
it&raHan— DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer— O. M. CONOVER. 

Hon. H. S. ORTON, 
Hon. D. J. POWERS, 


Hon. J. P. ATWOOD, 


Gen. G. ±'. DELAPLAINliJk 
Hon. J. Y. SMITH, 
Pkof. J. D. BUTLER, 

db. c. b. chapman, 

J. D. GURiN'EE, 

iP«*?fca*/o^«— DRAPER, RUBLEE and J. P. ATWOOD. 
Auditing Accounts — BENEDICT, DELAPLAINE and GURNEE. 
Library, Fixtures and Purchases — DRAPER, DURRIE and CARPENTER. 
Printing — HYER, RUBLEE and SMITH. 



Uterory Exchonges—FlUlsUy, DRAPER and CHAPMAN. 

A^omtn«fion.s— SHIPMxiN, ELLIS and BENEDICT. 

Lectures and £'ssa?/s— BUTLER, ORTON, SMITH and HYER. 
Soliciting Committee— DRAVER. ORTON, D. ATWOOD, TIBBITS and 




Officers for 1861 


GEN. WM. R. SMITH, Mineral Point. 


nox. HARLOW ORTON. Madinon ; Ho.\. M. M. DAVIS, Portage; 

Db. E. B. WOLCOTT, Mihcaukee; Rev. A. BRUXSON, Prairie du Chien; 

Hex. A. I. BENNETT, Beloit ; CYRUS WOODMAN, Esq., Mineral Point. 

Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary — LA FAYETTE KELLOGG. 
Libranan— DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 



Dii. C. B. CIIAI'MAN, 
Rev. J. B. BRITTON, 
PnoF. J. D. BUTLER. 


Hon. GEO. B. SMITH, 
Hon. D. J. POWERS, 

Publications— DnXVYlR, RUBLEE and J. P. ATWOOD. 
Auditing Accounts— J. Y. SMITH, BENEDICT and FIRMIN. 
Printing— YIY-EB., RUBLEE and J. Y. SMITH. 

Library Fixtures and Pwrc/iases— DRAPER, DURRIE and CONOVEE. 
Picture Gallery — DELAPLAINE, TIBBITS and CLARK. 
Literary Exchanges — FIRMIN, CHAPMAN and GURNEE. 
On Nominations— Cnxr^lAls; , J. P. ATWOOD and BENEDICT. 
Lectures and /7s5ai/.s— BUTLER, DURRIE, RUBLTSE, HYER and BRITTON. 

Soliciting Committee— ORTO^, DRAPER, BUTLER, KELLOGG and G. B. 



34 Wisconsin Historical Collections [toi. v 

Officers for 1862 


INCREASE A. LAPHAM. LL. D., Milwaukee. 


Gen. W. R. SMITH, Mineral Point; Hon. GEORGE GALE, Galesville; 

Hon. henry S. BAIRD, Green Bay; Hon. G. W. HAZLETON, Columbus; 

Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary— FRANK H. FIRMIN. 
Librarian— jyAl^IEJj S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 

Hon. H. S. ORTON^ 
Hon. GEO. B. SMITH. 
Hon. D. J. POWERS, 


Hon. J. P. ATWOOD, 

STANDING committees : 

Gen. G. p. DELAPLAINliJ, 
Hon. J. Y. SMITH, 
Prop. J. D. BUTLER, 

Pit67tca*iona— DRAPER, RUBLEE and T. P. ATWOOD. 
Auditing Accounts — J. Y. SMITH, BENEDICT and FIRMIN. 
Printing— BYHR, RUBLEE and J. Y. SMITH. 

Library, Fixtures and Purchases— BRAVER, DURRIE and CONOVER. 
Literary Exchanges— FlRMjyi, GURNEE and TENNEY. 
On Nominations— J. P. ATWOOD, BENEDICT and HYER. 
Lectures and Essays— BJJT-LBR, DURRIE. RUBLEE and TENNEY. 

Soliciting Committee— ORTO^, DRAPER, BUTLER, DURRIE and G. B 


On Obituaries— B. ATWOOD, ORTON, GEO. B. SMITH and BUTLER. 

1867] Officers 


Officers for 1863 


INCREASE A. LAPIIA:M, LL. D., Milwaukee. 


Gex Wm. R. smith, Mineral Point. Hon. JAMES T. LEWIS, Columbus. 
Hon. henry S. BAIRD, Green Bay. Hex. CHARLES S. BENTON. La Crosse. 
Gex. JAS. SUTHERLAND, JanesviUe. Hex. CHARLES DURKEE, Kenoaha. 


Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary — FRANK II. FIRMIN. 
Librarian — DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — 0. M. CONOVER. 

Hox. H. S. ORTON, 
Hon. GEO. B. SMITH, 
Hon. D. J. POWERS, 


Prop. J. D. BUTLER, 

standing committees : 


Hox. J. Y. SMITH, 

Hox. E. B. DEAN, Jr., 




PuT)licattons—T>R AFER, RUBLEE and J. Y. SMITH. 
Auditing Accounts— G. B. SMITH, BENEDICT aiid FIRMIN. 

Library Fixtures and PurcJiases— DRAPER, DURRIE and CONOVER. 
Picture Gallery — DELAPLAINE, TIBBITS and CLARK. f 
Literary Exchanges— FlRUl'S, GURNEE and CARPENTER. ,^ 
Nominations — DEAN, BENEDICT and HYER. 

Lectures and Essays — BUTLER, DURRIE, RUBLEE and CARPENTER.' 
Soliciting Committee— ORTO^, DEAN, BUTLER, DURRIE and G. B. SMITH. 

Obituaries — D. ATWOOD, ORTON, G. B. SMITH and BUTLER. 


36 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.y 

Officers for 1864 


INCREASE A. LAPHAM, LL. D.. Milwaukee. 


Gbn. WM. R. smith, Mineral Point. Hon. JAMES T. LEWIS, Columhus. 
Hon henry S. BAIRD, Green Bay. Hon. CHARLES S. BDNTON, La Crosse, 
Gbn. JAS. SUTHERLAND, Janesville. Hon CHARLES DURKEE, Kenosha. 

Corresponding Secretary — LTMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary — FRANK H. FIRMIN. 
it&rarian— DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 

Hon. H. S. ORTON, 
Hon. GEO. B. SillTH, 
Hon. D. J. POWERS, 


Prop. J. D. BUTLER, 


Hon. E. B. DEAN, 

Puhlications—JjRAFER, RUBLEE and BUTLER. 

Auditing Accounts-G. B. SMITH, BENEDICT and FIRMIN. 



Library, Fixtures and Purchases— DRAVER, DURRIE and CONOVER. 
Literary ilxchanges— FIRTH'S, GURNEE and CARPENTER. 
J^ominations— BENEDICT, DEAN and HYER. 

Lectures and Essays— R.JjTI.Y:R, DURRIE, RUBLEE and CARPENTER. 

Soliciting Committee— ORT OK, DEAN, BUTLER, DURRIE and G. B. SMITH. 





Officers for 1865 


INCREASE A. LAPHAM, LL. D., Milwaukee. 


Gkn. W. R. S:MITH. ^finc)■n! Prirt: Hon JAMES T. LEWIS, Columhus; 

Hon. henry S. BAIRD, Green Bey: Hon. JAS. R. DOOLITTLE, Racine; 
Gbn. JAMES SUTHERLAND, Janesville; Hon. W. D. McINDOE, Wausau. 

Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN C. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary — Col. FRANK H. FIRMIN. 
Z/iftrarian— DANIEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 

Hon. H. S. ORTON, 
Hon. GEO. B. SMITH, 
Hon. D. J. POWERS, 


Prof. J. D. BUTLER, 



Hon. E. B. dean, 





Publications— DRATER, RUBLEE and BUTLER. 

Auditing Accouwtfi— POWERS, BENEDICT and FIRMIN. 



Library, Fixtures and Purchases— T)R AVER DURRIE and C0N0VB2.' 
Literary Exchanges— FlR^li:^, GURNEE and CARPENTER. 
J^omtnattons— BENEDICT, DEAN and VAN SLYKE. 
Lectures and Essays— BTITLER, DURRIE. RUBLEE and CARPENTER. 

Soliciting Commiftee— ORTON, DEAN, BUTLER, DURRIE and G. B. SMITH. 

Obituaries— B. ATWOOD, ORTON, G. B. SMITH and BUTLER. 

38 Wisconsin Historical Collection 

S [vol. V 

Officers for 1868 




D. Milwaukee. 

Gen. WM. R. SMITH, Mineral Point; Hox. JAMES T. LEWIS, Columhus 
Hon. henry S. BAIRD. areen Bay; Hox. HARLOW S. ORTON, Mihcaukee. 
HOI*. EDWARD SALOMON, Mihcaukee; Hex. L. J. FARWELL, Westport - 
Hon. JAMES R. DOOLITTLE, Racine; Hoy. ANGUS CAMERON, La Croa^e ■ 
HON. WALTER D. McINDOE, Waiisau; Ho^. WM. A. LAWRENCE, Janesvilie 

Corresponding Secretary — LYMAN G. DRAPER. 
Recording Secretary— Coh. S. V. SHIPMAN. 
Lil)rarian—DA1<1 lEL S. DURRIE. 
Treasurer — O. M. CONOVER. 

For One Tear. 
Pkof. J. D. BUTLER. 


For Two Years. 
Gex. g. p. delaplaine. 

Hox. D. J. POWERS, 

For Three Years. 
Hox. E. B. dean, 
Col. E. a. CALKINS, 
Prof. E. S. CARR, 
Col. F. H. FIRMIN, 



Soliciting Committee — SMITH, ATWOOD, ABEEL, DEAN and DURRIE. 
Lectures and Essays— BUTLF.n. DURRIE, CALKINS, ROSS and WORTH- 

Library, Fixtures and Purchases — DRAPER, DURRIE and CONOVER. 



John Warren Hunt 



Dr. J. W. Hunt 

At a special meeting of the Executive Committee, Tuesday 
evening, Dec. 20, 1859, Prof. Ezra S. Garr, of the State Uni- 
versity, rose and said: 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Historical Society:. I 
have been requested to make a few remarks concerning the life 
and public services of one who has been called in the prime 
of manhood, to exchange life, usefulness, the charms of home 
and household ties, for an early grave. I come at your bidding 
*'to fling my pebble on his caim,'' conscious that many of you 
who were wont to meet him at the stated gatherings of this So- 
ciety, many who were more familiar with his private and per- 
sonal history, could do better justice to the subject and the oc- 

If anything can quiet the pulses of the busy life in which 
most of us are absorbed, it is when that life is confronted by 
the twin mystery of being, when funeral bells solemnly toll 
out the lessons of man's mortality, the brevity of his career, 
the equality of all in suffering and death. 

To-day, all is brightness — ^hope invites activity — the heart 
beats high with expectation, and the brain labors for the ac- 
complishment of great purposes — to-morrow both are dust. 
The present seems our only possession, so dim are our recol- 
lections of "that immortal sea which brought us hither," so 
faint and fugitive our conceptions of the mysterious river 
through which myriads pass and none return. 

40 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

"Oh, none return from those quiet shores, 
"Who cross with the boatman cold and pale — 
We hear the dip of the golden cars — 
We catch the gleam of the snowy sail, 
And lo ! they have passed from our yearning sight — 
They cross the stream, and are gone for aye — 
We ma-y not sunder the veil apart, 
That hides from our vision the gates of day." 

"Gone for aye/' leaving behind them sorrow and vacancy. 
We turn from the still face of the dead, from the tenantless 
house of clay, not altogether comfortless; for we know that 
even from the sacred dust will spring new creations of beauty 
that E"ature, by her endless transformations, teaches how the 
body hath immortality, and we know ''this voice of i^ature to 
her foster child," her ''inmate man,'' is but a type and shadow 
of the higher immortality which revelation brings to light as 
the soul's prerogative. 

We do not mourn when the gray-haired pilgTim lays aside 
the enfeebled body, the benumbed senses which only imprison 
the spirit enriched by long experience and knowledge; it is in 
the loss of the young, those who are arrested in mid career, 
that the world seems too much bereft. 

Yet, truly, "that life is long which answers life's great 
end;" and, judged by this standard, the friend whose loss we 
deplore to-night has neither lived briefly nor in vain. 

Dr. John Warren Hunt was born in Upper Lisle, Broome 
County, Xew York, Feb. 28, 1826, and was the second son of 
Dr. Samuel IE. Hunt of that place. I remember him first as 
a bright, intelligent lad of fourteen, greatly interested in the 
geological explorations then progi'essing in his native town. 
He assisted me in collecting some of the fossils now in the cabi- 
nets of the State University, and the Geological Hall at Al- 
bany, and accompanied me in my examination of neighboring 
localities. Soon after this time he entered Homer Academy, 
where he remained several years. Leaving the Academy, he 
commenced the study of . medicine, first ^\'ith his father, and 
afterwards under my instruction at Castleton, Vt., where he 
distinguished himself among a large body of students for 
his rigid economy and abstemiousness, and close application. 


John Warren Hunt 


The peculiarities of his mind were apparent in his choice of 
studies, the literature and science of the profession being more 
attractive to him than those speci£c studies which are essen- 
tial as preparation for its practice. 

He left Vermont before completing his course, but subse- 
quently received from Castleton Medical College the degree 
of Doctor of Medicine; and I next heard of him in Wiscon- 
sin, where he arrived in June of ^49. He tirst settled in Dela- 
field, where he experienced the anxieties and vicissitudes of a 
physician's life, and where some members of this Society first 
knew and befriended him. Dependent upon his own exertions 
and generous to a fault, but for the kmdness of those friends, 
whose favors he delighted in acknowledging, he could not so 
soon have risen to a station of responsibility and usefulness. 

In January, 1851, he w^as appointed assistant Secretary of 
State, by William A. Barstow, then Secretary, removed to 
Madison, and with the exception of a part of Col. Kobinson's 
Secretaryship, continued to serve in that capacity until Jan., 
'57, a period of five years. In this otfice he gained a knowl- 
edge of public aft'airs and public records which have become 

During the first four years of his residence in our State, 
while the order of the Sons of Temperance was vigorous. Dr. 
Hunt was actively engaged in furthering its interests. He 
was their Grand Scribe, and for a time edited the Old Oaken 
Bucket, a neat quarto which was the organ of the order. Upon 
the decline of the popular interest in that organization, Dr. 
Hunt became interested in Masonry, which he believed to 
contain all the advantages of associated effort in the cause of 
Temperance, Charity and Social Brotherhood. Masonry at- 
tracted him by its imposing ceremonies, and its historical asso- 
ciations. He was a diligent student of its literature, and re- 
vered it as the asylum of Democracy in times when by means 
of mystic rites and symbols, architects and artisans hid their 
secrets of chemistry and metallurgy, and natural philosophy 
from the eyes of popes and princes, who feared the spread of 
knowledge among the people. To him it was an inheritance 

42 Wisconsin Historical Collections voi.v 

from the age of chivalry, when men armed and battled for a 
rood of land in Palestine as now they would not for an empire. 
He knew that by its aid arts were protected, and the marvels 
cf Gothic Architecture given to the world. In common with 
all imaginative minds, ho enjoyed those forms that seem to 
link the present with the past, which make the symbolic 
"work" of the Masonic Lodge, as it were, commemorative of 
the operative work which built Strassburg Cathedral, and the 
noblest edifices of Great Britain. 

Dr. Hunt was for many years one of the most active and 
prominent Masons in the state. He presided for a long time 
over the Hiram Lodge in this city, and for the past two years 
has been the Grand Secretaiw of the Grand Lodge of Wiscon- 
sin; Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter; Grand Recorder 
of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters; Grand 
Recorder of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of 
Wisconsin, Commander of the Robert ]\IcCoy Comjnandery at 
Madison, and was at the time of his death High Priest of the 
Royal Arch Chapter of this city. 

To his zeal and industry in the discharge of all these offices, 
his Masonic brethren bear grateful testimony; he died at his 
post — the records of these various offices bear traces of his busy 
pen until within a few days of his death. Besides attending 
personally to an enormous correspondence and these records, 
he prepared and published in the last two years nine different 
reports of proceeding's of Masonic bodies with which he was 
connected, making no less than 748 octavo pages. 

In those charities which are enjoined as the first of Masonic 
duties — in sjmpathy for the sick and afflicted, Dr. Hunt was 
never wanting. Many friends had he among the poor and 
lowdy — he could not see a brute beast, much less a human 
cieature, suffer, without pain; he gave lavishly and without os- 

As Justice of the Peace in his ward, an officer of the Dane 
Cavalry, a member of the Hook and Ladder Company, and as 
deputy County Treasurer, he served the young city of his adop- 
tion. As a trustee of the Baptist Society, he labored for its 


john Warren Hunt 


prosperity, and gave cheerfully and liberally to the erection of 
its edifice and support of its ministry ; the originator, and for- 
merly an officer of the Madison Institute, he contributed to it 
also, and lamented the suspension of its usefulness. 

The number of societies having for their object benevolence 
and the public weal, to which Dr. Hunt belonged and contrib- 
uted from his moderate income, is sufficient evidence that 
benevolence was a distinguishing trait in his character. 

For the past six vears he has been the Recording Secretary 
of this society; he has always been a steady contributor to its 
Library, and in many ways has aided to advance its interests. 
One of his last acts was to send a large contribution of pam- 
phlets, ancient almanacks and other literary matter, thus evinc- 
ing his continued interest in it. 

He was himself a contributor to the literature of Wisconsin. 
His first publication was the Wisconsin Gazeteer, issued in 
1853, an octavo volume of 256 pages, the first work of its 
kind published here, and still valuable as a book of reference. 
The next was the Wisconsin Almanac and Annual Register, in 
1856, a valuable statistical work of 96 pages, which had a gen- 
eral circulation, and was regarded as furnishing the most re- 
liable information concerning the political and industrial con- 
dition of the State. During the same year he visited Toronto, 
ITontreal and Quebec, on the occasion of the celebration of the 
Grand Trunk Railway, and wrote for the Argus & Democrat a 
series of descriptive letters over the signature of Kewassa, and 
the following year another series from the Lake Superior coun- 
tiy, over the same signature. The latter originally appeared 
in the Milwaukee Wisconsin. 

Loving books, with them he furnished his modest dwelling. 
There you will find the most valuable geogi-aphical and sta- 
tistical library in the State, with nearly everything in standard 
literature, and much that is curious and rare. 

He loved art too, and a few copies of the best ideals embel- 
lished his home. Into that home, so changed and desohite, we 
will not enter save to leave upon its threshold our memorial 
garlimd. ])i'ot]i-r, ]iusbr:n.l, lathor, wo bK>w he is mourned 

44 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

tLere bj bruised hearts; as a friend, many of ns can bear wit- 
ness to his unselfishness and fidelity. 

The disease to which Dr. Hunt fell a victim was hereditary, 
and had given him repeated w^arnings of its approach. By 
vigorous exercise, by varying- his sedentary pursuits with manly 
sports, and out door pleasures, he kept it in check for a time. 
He knew when it obtained the mastei-y, and although he availed 
himself of all the resources of medical skill, proceeded to set 
his house in order and finish his earthly work. 

Industrious to the last, his physician and friends found him 
always among his papers and books, at work himself, or dictat- 
ing to the willing hand which divined his every wish. They 
always found the ready^ welcome, the cheerful word. 

He spoke of death he would speak of a journey, regret- 
ting it for the sake of his yoimg and devoted wife, of his child, 
who would never know a father's love, but for himseK willing 
that ''God's will be done.'' On the 12th of December, 1859, 
just as the wintry day was closing, he peacefully closed his 
eyes> upon the scenes of earth and the faces of those he loved, 
and breathed out his life in one farewell sigh. 

"When frail nature can no more, 
Then the spirit strikes the hour, 
My servant, Death, with solving rite, 
Pours finite into Infinite." 

Those very characteristics which gave Masonry such a hold 
upon the imagination and heart of our friend, inclined him to- 
ward those reli2:ious denominations which have an historical 
association. He believed that through the established church, 
from the glorious company of apostles and martyrs, an in- 
fluence had descended, especially powerful for the regeneration 
and sanctification of men. Though he did not live to receive 
from the hands of the venerable Bishop confirmation and com- 
munion, he died a Christian, in the hope and promise of a 
happy immortality. 

That Dr. Hunt was appreciated in the community which he 
had served in such various capacities, was evidenced by the 
mournful throng which followed his remains to their last rest- 


•John Warren Hunt 


iiig place. High and low, rich and poor, native and foreign 
borii, mingled in that solemn procession. Beside the com- 
panion of his early youth they laid him down to his long 
slumber, and over his dust was heard the voices of brothers in 
aims, speaking, ''Rest to his ashes, and peace to his soul." 

The chair appointed Mr. Draper, Prof. Carr and Judge 
Atwood a committee to report suitable resolutions, who, 
through their chairman, submitted the following, the adoption 
of which was moved by Prof. Conover : 

''Resolved, That we have heard with deep regTet the death 
of Dr. John W. Hunt, one of the corporate members of this 
Society, for the past six years its Eecording Secretary, and al- 
ways prominent among its friends and contributors. 

''Resolved, That in the death of Dr. Hunt we feel sensibly 
the loss of an earnest co-worker in the held of historical and 
statistical research and collection, and a friend of his race, 
whose varied sphere of usefulness in society will long remain 
unoccupied, and that we tender to his bereaved family our 
heartfelt sympathies and condolence. 

"Resolved, That in respect for the memory of our late la- 
mented associate, Dr. Hunt, the Society do now adjourn, and 
that the Secretary be directed to furnish a copy of these pro- 
ceedings to the family of the deceased." 

Judge J. P. Atwood then rose and said : 

Mr. President : There is silence through all the house. The 
doors swing slowly to and fro. The windows are darkened, 
and the mirror gives back its images in a dim mysterious light. 
The knocker on the door is mufEed, and the soft, slow step 
scarcely scares the cricket, enticed away from his home be- 
neath the hearth by the nocturnal seeming of everything 
around. The voices of the ^'ate are hushed and the fire bums 
with a purer and a serener glow. The half spoken words strike 
harshly on the ear, and awaken echoes on every hand. All is 
strange, mysterious and awful. Death is here. 

46 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

Jobn Warren Hunt was a remarkable man. Few even of 
li:s associates knew him. He was reserved and taciturn. At- 
tentive to his duties and domestic in his habits, he mingled 
but little with the multitude in places of public resort. Ex- 
tremely temperate, and but little given to convivial pleasures 
and amusments, he was seldom seen at the festive board. He 
was eminently reflective and inventive. He was ever busy and 
ever thoughtful. isTo rust corroded his mental machinery, nor 
enervated the native vigor of his mind. 

Dr. Hunt was peculiar. His every taste and aspiration was 
marked with a significant individuality. Every act, whether 
public or private — every production of his pen — every one of 
the many objects of liis benevolence — his weightier and his 
light^er works — the friends whom he chose for associates — his 
home — his library — the fittings of his ofiice — even the gems of 
art which adorned his laboratory of taste, all spoke his idiosyn- 
crasy. The objects of his ambition were alike the objects of his 
taste. Whatever he sought to attain lay beyond pleasant fields, 
which it seemed to him he would like to traverse, for the treas- 
ures which he could gather on the way. If he should fail to 
accomplish all that his ambition might prompt him to under- 
take, the expended efi^ort and labors would not prove a fraitless 
sacrifice. He gathered as he went — he secured w^hat he ac- 
quired — he husbanded the harvest before the seed had fallen 
to the gTound, or been scattered by the merciless wind. 

The past was fresh and green to him. Xo vices had vitiated 
his memory; no half buried wrongs rose up bet^veen him and 
the precious memories which cluster along the pathway of life, 
far back to the spots hallowed by scenes of early childhood, 
and the curiously happy day of youth — and turned them all 
to hissing serpents, which he might not look upon. He liked 
to dwell in the past — live over the events and incidents of 
bis o^vn life; and to linger in the sacred shadows of ages, and 
decipher the inscriptioiis on the monuments of Time, which tell 
the epochs of the world. 

The present was to him propitious and satisfactory ; the f u- 
tiire a great battle-field, whereon victories were to be achieved 


John Warren Hunt 


or lost. Glorious trophies awaited there the faithful, the hon- 
est, the sagacious, and the brave. He looked on the objects 
dimly seen in the morning twilight with a philosophical eye. 
Experience had taught him to sack no untalvcn Troy. 

With almost prophetic faith, he believed in the realization 
of all he hoped for, and felt that no anticipation could turn to 
ashes on his lips. 

He was cautious and deliberate in study, and indefatigable 
in research and investigation. His opinions were not hastily 
formed, and seldom changed. They were conclusions wTiich 
he had wrought, and were with him as inflexible as truth. 
Those who thought him dog-matical, were strangers to that con- 
viction which is the result of perfect comprehension. 

Dr. Hunt had not passed the summer of life. The flowers 
Btill bloomed about him, and gave their incense to the ap- 
proaching autumn. The fruit had scarcely begun to ripen on 
the bended bough, and yet he was stricken, and he fell. 

" The good die first ; 

While those whose hearts are di-y as summer dust, 
Burn to the socket." 

Our friend died where he most loved to live — in the quiet 
seclusion of his own home. Those whom he most cherished, 
watched and guarded him e'en to the dark valley, and there 
left him only because they could go no farther. The fair young 
hand which but yesterday he held in his at the altar, smoothed 
the pillow of the dying man. The eyes in which he had foimd 
encouragement and sympathy looked in his as they closed in 
that sleep which knows no earthly waking. Friends whom he 
had proved in life, were with him in death, and bore him ten- 
derly to his last resting place. 

Sad, sad indeed, is this event to her whose life-destinies 
were linked with his by ties which now bind her to the spirit 
world. I would not intrude with words of condolence upon the 
sacred reverie of that widow, weeping with her orphaned child 
beside the fountain, where the silver cord has been loosed and 
the golden bowl been broken. Her sorrow is too sacred for the 
ministrations of human consolation. From the wounded heart 

48 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Trill go forth an aspiration for that solace which the world with 
all its kindness, and all its benevolence, cannot give. She will 
seek and obtain from a higher source, that purer illumination 
of which human reason is but the reflection. Mr. President,. 
I second the resolutions. 

The resolutions as reported, were then unanimously adopted ; 
after which, on motion of S'. Y. Shipman, Esq., copies of the 
eulogies just delivered, were requested for the archives of the 

Gov. Louis P. Harvey 

At a special meeting of the Executive Committee, Tuesday 
evening, May 13th, 1862, Gen. David Atwood rose and said: 

Mr. President end Geullemcn of the State Historical Society: 

"In the midst of life we are in death." 

The people of this State, have, of late, been most fearfully 
admonished of the great truth contained in this sentence. In 
consequence of the war that necessarily exists in our beloved 
ccuntry, to put down a desparately v^dcked rebellion that has 
sprung up in one portion of the Union, every loyal State has 
been called upon to make the sacrifice of some of its best 
and bravest citizens. Of late, Wisconsin has contributed, her 
full share to the roll of honored dead, which is made up with 
the names of the noble men who have fallen in dreadful con- 
flict. Officers and privates in whose veins flowed the best 
blood of our State, have fallen willing victims of this war — 
v/hose friends in almost every neighborhood of the State, have 
been suddenly called to mourn their loss, and who, in their 
affliction, have received the warmest sympathies of the whole 
people of the State. 

But a greater and sadder calamity has fallen upon our people 
a-- a State, in the loss of a citizen who occupied a position in. 


Louis P. Harvey 


the civil walks of life! The chosen head of the Common- 
wealth, Louis P. Harvey, is dead! Death has snatched from 
our midst, the beloved stat^man and friend, who filled so ably 
and satisfactorily to the people, the Executive Chair of this 
State ! 

In bringing to the notice of this Society, the death of this 
distinguished fellow citizen, and of discharging the duty 
a-ssigned me, of preparing a brief sketch of the life and public 
services of Governor Harvey, I feel that I have assumed a 
heavy responsibility; but with the limited knowledge I pos- 
sess, I will put in form such record of the events of the life of 
our friend, as I can, that they may find permanence in the 
proceedings of this Society, of which he was an honored and 
most active member. I shall confine myself principally to a 
plain recital of the prominent events in the life of our departed 
Governor, most of which are entirely familiar to those present ; 
but thev may prove of interest to future generations who may 
be- in search of facts connected with the history of the State, 
and of its more distinguished citizens, in its early years. It is 
therefore, more for the benefit of the future inhabitants of 
Wisconsin, than the present, that I submit this paper to the 

Louis Powell Harvey was bom in East Haddam, in the 
Stat« of Connecticut, on the 22d day of July, in the year 1820. 
We have little or no knowledge of his early boyhood. Of his 
parents we know but little; but understand that they are both 
most exemplary and Christian people, and early instilled into 
the minds of their children the importance of cherishing cor- 
rect principles and of pursuing an upright and pure life. And 
in their example they illustrated to their children the beauties 
of the principles they taught in their own daily walk. These 
parents survive the son, and now reside in Shopiere in this 
State. They have but one child left, a son, now residing in 

The parents of Governor Harvey were not wealthy, and at 
aji early day the young son felt that it was necessary that 
ho should be the artificer of his own fortune. In 1828, when 

50 Wisconsin Historica] Collections [voi.v 

Louis -was eight years old, his father removed with his family 
t.; Strong-ville, Cuyahoga County, in the State of Ohio. This 
was, at that time, the Far ^Yest. Ohio was then young and 
vigorous — just the place for a young and vigorous intellect like 
t})at possessed by young I-Iar\^ey to expand and mature. 

In 1837, Harvey entered the Freshman class in the 

Western Eeserve College, located at Hudson, Ohio. Here he 
pursued his studies for something over t^vo years, with emi- 
nent success, when, on account of ill health, he was compelled 
to leave the Institution. He deeply regretted, in his whole 
after life, the necessity that had prevented his completing his 
collegiate course. 

Concerning his college days, I cannot do better than to adopt 
an extract from the remarks of Rev. ]\Ir. Brown, at a meeting 
in. La Crosse, a few days ago. Mr. B. was a class-mate in 
college with Mr. Harvey, and thus speaks of him : 

"As class-mates and members of the same literary society, 
and boarders in the same family, our acquaintance was of the 
most intimate kind. I can bear testimony to his early charac- 
ter, that it was without a stain. He was a noble youth. With 
brilliant talents, good scholarship, and pleasing manners, he 
bc'came a favorite among his fellow students. Impulsive in 
temperament, of unbounded wit and humor, yet chastened by 
Christian principles. He possessed that rare quality of true 
nobility, a promptness to retract an error or confess a wrong. 
When a sharp word or sally of wit had woimded the feelings 
of a fellow student, I have seen him repair to his room, and 
with a warm grasp of his hand, and a tear in his eye, say: 
^Brother, forgive me, if I have hurt your feelings !' " 

On leaving college, the active business of life commenced 
with Mr. Harvey. He started out as a teacher; and we first 
hear of him, in Xicholasville, Kentucky, where, for a year or 
two, he had charge of an Academy. In a short time, however, 
he obtained a situation as tutor in Woodward College, Cincin- 
nati, where he remained some two years, giving complete satis- 
faction in this capacity. 

1867] Louis p. Harvey 5 i 

We are indebted to Judge A. L. Collins, an old resident 
of this State, for a letter referring to Mr. Harvey's first ap- 
pearance as a public speaker on political matters, and of the 
circumstances of his coming to this State. Judge Collins 
\VTites : 

Madison, May 2, 1862. 

Gex. xVtwood: 

Dear Sir — In compliance with your request, I most cheer- 
fully give you a shoi-t account of my early acquaintance with 
our late lamented Governor Harvey, whose sudden and mel- 
ancholy death has brought the State into mourning. 

My acquaintance with Gov. Harvey commenced in Ohio, 
in the year 1840. During the memorable campaign of that 
year, I was occasionally engaged in public speaking in behalf 
of tlie Whig cause and its party. On one occasion, in the 
month of October of that year, while fulfilling an engagement 
at Strong\^ille, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, I met and was intro 
diiced to Mr. Harvey, w^ho was spending a season with his 
father, a highly est-eemed and worthy man, residing at that 
place, and who, I believe, is still living at Shopiere, in this 
State, though I have not had the pleasure of meeting him since 
I left Ohio, in 1842. 

Pleased with young Harvey's appearance and modest de- 
meanor, and discovering (which no one could fail to discover), 
"signs of promise'^ in him, and full of good sound reasons for 
the faith that was in him, I was desirous of introducing 

him to the stump and to the public, which I felt he would 
please and enlighten. After some considerable persuasion he 
consented to accompany me to Brunswick, in Medina county, 
where I had accepted a call to address a meeting within a lew 
days from that time. At the appointed time we met and pro- 
ceeded to Bruns^vvick. The meeting was large and enthusiastic, 
aa was characteristic of Whig meetings in that campaign. Mr. 
Hai-^-ey preferred to make the opening speech, and did so. I 
was only happily disappointed in the effort. It was his maiden 
Bpeeeh, and, I need hardly add, that he made not only a bril- 

5 2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

llant and beautiful spe^h — one calculated to arouse the people 
— but a profoundly doctrinal one, instructive and suggestive to 
men of intelligence of riper years. Certainly, I felt liappy 
on his account, for his perfect success, aud proud myself of the 
bonor of having been instrumental in bringing out a star. 

From this place Mr. Harvey accompanied me to several 
other gatherings, large and imposing, during that campaign^ 
end made several speeches, and in every instance acquitted him- 
self admirably, and vron for himself a decidedly enviable repu- 

An intimacy from this time, sprang up betwixt Mr. Harvey 
and myself, and in the following summer, 1841, I visited and 
traveled through Wisconsin. Mr. Harvey remained at Strong- 
ville. On my return to Ohio, having determined to remove 
to Wisconsin, ho resolved to come out with me, and we agreed 
to come together to Madison in the autumn of that year; but 
eircuMistances prevented my getting ready to come that fall. 
Ihit ]Mr. Harvey having no impediments in the way, came on, 
and tin<linir greater inducements to settle in Kenosha (then 
Soutli}M>rr to^.'k ut) his residence there, and engaged in teach- 
ing for a lime, in which he was entirely successful. Eor about 
six years he remained at Southport, during which time or a 
part of it, he was Post Master, and for many years of the time, 
Le etlit^^d the Southport American, a sterling and able advocate 
of Whig principles — a more dignified, straightforward and re- 
liable journal than the Southport American, was never pub- 
li."!]* d in Wisconsin. 

Fruin the time when ^Ir. Harvey's connection with the 
A}nf:rican ceased, you have been familiarly acquainted ^vith 
Lis life iuid character — political and private^ — mil do him 
ample jiLstice, and I will not intrude upon your province of 
giving his history for record. Justice to my own feelings on 
this occasion, however, will not allow me, in conclusion, to say 
le>-.-, than this, that, added to Governor Harvey's rare qualifi.- 
rati'.iis of head tmd heart, was that of courage to he honest and 
do right. ;Moii of that character, among politicians, are rare. 
Iiide« d, good men oftentimes fail in this particular. In these 


Louis P. Harvey 


times of political strife and oflficial delinquency, the element of 
hravery, in the sense I use it, too often wanting — and when 
■we find the elements of talent, patriotism and nigral courag3 
combined, as in Governor Harvej, we may safely say, when 
he falls, 'S-erily a great man has fallen." 

Yours^ &c., 

A. L. Collins. 

In the fall of 1841, Mr. Harvey turned his steps in a 
westerly direction, and' made his first stop at Kenosha (tiien 
Southport), in this state. Of his career at that place, we must 
allow Col. Frank, of the Kenosha Telegraph, who was then, 
and has ever since been, an intimate friend, to speak: 

"He came a stranger, without influential friends to aid him 
and without capital, except a good character and a well culti- 
vated mind, which are, after all, better foundations for a young 
man to build upon than money. 

"The first business in which he engaged here was teaching. 
He found a building which had been erected for the purpose 
of an Academy, but which had never yet been occupied for 
educational purposes. He immediately hired the building, put 
out advertisements, inviting students, and opened his school 
on the 25th of December, 1841. His patronage was not large,- 
but all that could reasonably be expected, in view of the new- 
ness of the town. In the summer of 1843, he took the editor^ 
ial charge of the Souiliport American, a Whig paper which had 
been established in the fall of 1841. He, however, did not re- 
linquish the business of teaching, but continued his school 
Although this was his first attempt at editing a newspaper, he 
displayed tact and ability in this new vocation. The American 
^vllile under his charge was a lively and spirited paper. He 
was an ardent politician, but never indulged in personal in- 
vective, and was generally courteous in the discussion of politi- 
cal differences. 

"He was generous, genial, possessing an unusual flow of 
hmnor; and it was, perhaps, these qualities, combined with 

54 Wisconsin Historical Collections ivoi.y 

others of more intrinsic worth, which rendered him popular 
among all classes. As an evidence of the strong hold he had 
on the favor of the people, during his early political career, it 
may he mentioned that after the expiration of his first year's 
residence here, he was put forward annually by his political 
friends, for some ward or town office. The contest at the polls 
for these offices, was usually spirited, and conducted on party 
grounds. It is a noticeable fact, seen by reference to the town 
election returns for those years, that Mr. Harvey invariably 
ran ahead of his ticket, and usually succeeded to an election, 
even when his party was clearly a minority one. 

"Mr. Harvey, in early life, exhibited more than ordinary 
talent as a public speaker, and possessed the elements of a 
popular orator in a good degToe. While engaged in the busi- 
ness of teaching, he was zealous in his endeavors to organize 
the young men of the town into Lyceums, for public discus- 
sions, on the important topics of the day. Doubtless this early 
practice of public speaking, was the means of giving him prom- 
inence in after times, as a good debater in the State Senate, 
and as an effective platform orator. His example in this re- 
spect, is well worthy the imitation of all young men who aspire 
to positions of influence and usefulness among the people. 

"As a friend of education, and the interests of our public 
schools, ^Ir. Harvey was always ready to aid and give encour- 
agement. In short, in all enterprises — educational, philan- 
thropic or benevolent, he could always be counted upon, to give 
his influence and to speak a good. word. 

"Although Mr. Harvey, while a young man, was the ob- 
ject of popular favor and applause, yet he preserved a gentle- 
manly equanimity, and did not allow 'himself to become in- 
flated with pride and conceit; nor did he give way to the 
temptations which surround young men who are the subject 
of flattering regard. He was a temperate man from principle 
— abstaining from all intoxicating liquors. He was moreover 
a religious man, and a church communicant (Congregational). 
There is much in Ihe life of Gov. Harvey, while a young 
man, that is instructive and worthy of example by the young 


Louis P. Harv^ey 


rr^en of the State. To a large extent it may be truly said, lie 
was a self made man. Before the age of 19 years, he wag 
thrown upon his own resources; by imtiring industry and 
perseverance, he achieved a reputation that will live in his- 
tory, and command the respect and admiration of men in after 

While a resident of Southport, Mr. Harvey received the ap- 
pointment of Post Master. It was during the administration 
of President Tyler; and it was but a short time before he 
was called upon to adhere strictly to the fortunes of that cor- 
rupt man, and to cordially, support all the acts of his adminis- 
tration, or lose his place as Post Master. To his honor Mr. 
Harvey i;dhered to the honest convictions of his own mind 
— to the real principles of his party — and the result was, his 
removal from ofBce after holding it a very short time. 

In 1847, Mr. Harvey was married to Miss Cordelia Per- 
rine, and in the same year he settled in Clinton, Kock 
County, where he commenced trade. S'ome four years after- 
wards he removed to Waterloo, (now Shopiere,) in the same 
county, which place continued to be his residence during the 
remainder of his life. Of his labors here, his old friend and 
class-mate. Rev. Mr. Brown, thus speaks: 

''ile purchased the v/ater power, tore down the distillery 
that had cursed the village, and in its place built a flouring 
mill and established a retail store, and exerted a great influ- 
ence in reforming the morals of the place. A neat btone edi- 
fice was built, mainly by his munificence, for the Congrega- 
tional Church, of which he was a member." 

Gov. Harvey leaves no family but his beloved wife. They 
were blessed with one child, a daughter ; but when yet a child, 
she was called from earth to a better world. 

It was at this time, in 1847, that our acquaintance with 
Gov. Harvey commenced, and it continued to be most inti- 
mate during the balance of his life. Having given a brief 
f=kotch of his private life, we will now make reference to the 
more important events of his public career. 

56 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Outside of his o^vn town, tlie first appearance of Gov. Har- 
vey in a public capacity, was as a member of the Convention 
tiiat framed tbe Constitution of our State. This Convention 
met at Madison, on the 15th day of December, 1847. It was 
here that we first began to know and to admire Mr. Harvey 
as a public man. He was among the youngest members of 
that distinguished body of men, but in ability he had few su- 
periors; and, in integrity, he w^as excelled by no one. He 
took a leading position in moulding the organic law of the 
State, and in all the discussions of that body he stood con- 
spicuous as one of the ablest and clearest debaters in it; and 
it comprised many of the best minds in the then Territory — 
men, who, with him, have since held distinguished positions 
in the State government, formed under the Constitution pro- 
duced by that Convention. 

We next hear of ^h: Harvey in a State capacity, as a Sen- 
ator in our Legislature, to which position he was elected by 
the people of the southern district of Kock Coimty in the fall 
of 1853, entering upon tlie duties of his oflSce in the following 
January. He was continued in this position for four years, 
being re-elected in 1855. He was a leading spirit in that body. 
Being familiar with State affairs and with the wants of the 
people, and possessing great energy of character and purpose, his 
ready talent found a congenial field in the Legislative Halls, 
and the records of the Senate will show that he was most able 
and eflScient in the discharge of his duties as Senator. During 
his last term, he was elected as the President pro tern., and 
performed the duties of the position most acceptably. 

In 1859, the people of the State called Mr. Harvey to the 
responsible position of Secretary of State. In his office, per- 
haps the most laborious and responsible of any in the State, 
he discharged the duties Vtith. such energy, ability and scrupu- 
lous regard for the public good, as to inspire the highest confi- 
dence in him amon^ the people of the State. As Secretary 
and ex officio School Land Commissioner, he rendered the State 
very great and valuable public services. As a member also, 
of the Board of Kegents of the Wisconsin University, he was 


Louis P. Harvey 


ever found a true friend to that institution, and to the great 
cause of education generally, l^o public man in the State has 
evinced a greater degree of interest in educational matters, or 
done more to elevate the condition of our public schools, in 
proportion -to his opportunities, than Mr. Harvey. He was 
ever alive to the subject of educating the youth of the State, 
and in his speeches and public acts, has shown his zeal in a 
most effective manner. 

In 1861, he was elected Chief Magistrate of the State by the 
largest majority that has ever been given to a Gubernatorial 
candidate, since the formation of our State Government. He 
entered upon the duties of this high position on the 6th day of 
January last, and fulfilled all the hopes and expectations of his 
most sanguine friends, in the able and judicious manner with 
which he performed the manifold and laborious, and oftentimes 
intricate duties entrusted to him, until the 19th day of April 
last, when, by a mis-step, he was lost to the people of Wiscon- 
sin as a Governor and friend. 

We have thus spoken of the official positions Governor 
Harvey has held in the State. His name was prominently^ 
mentioned in connection with the office of Governor in 1855, 
and again in 1857 ; and in the same years, he was frequently 
mentioned in the Legislature, as a proper man to be elected a 
Senator of the United States, though, in neither instance, did 
be consider himself a candidate for those distinguished positions. 
In 1854, his name was used in connection with the nomipation 
for Congress, with almost sure prospects of success, until he 
forbid its use, and urged the name of Hon. C. C. Washburne 
for that nomination. Mr. W. w^as largely indebted to ^Ir. 
Haevey's magnanimity in withholding the use of his name, 
and to his zeal in urging that of his friend for the first and 
subsequent nominations as a member of Congress. 

As a politician, Gov. Harvey was earnest, active and efficient. 
He commenced political life as a member of the old ^^ hig 
party, when it was more especially under the leadership of 
Henry Ciay, and he was a most enthusiastic admirer of tliat 
distinguished patriot and statesman. He continued to act with 

58 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

that party until it was abandoned and the Republican party was 
iuaugur^;ted, which party he united with zeal, and for 
whose advancement he labored with, earnestness and efficiency 
during the remaining years of his life. His political principles 
were the result of honest conviction, and when he had once 
satisfied his mind of the correctness of a principle, he could not 
easily be swerved from it, but threw all the energy of his body 
and mind into the work of its advancement. He was always a 
true lover of freedom, and a sincere hater of slavery in any form. 
When a member of the Whig party he belonged to that mng 
that was most radically anti-slavery, and during the time of ex- 
citement on that subject, was a firm believer in, and an advo- 
cate of, the '^Wihmt Proviso as it was called. In 1848 he 
was a zealous advocate of the nomination of Henry Clay for 
the Presidency, believing that distinguished man to be right on 
the great question of slavery; and when his favorite was de- 
feated, and Gen. Taylor was made the candidate, Z\Ir. Har- 
vey's political zeal in the campaign was almost entirely crushed. 
Gen. Tavlor living' in the extreme S'outh, and beinc: an ex- 
tensive slave-holder, it was hard for Mr. Harvey to believe that 
he would prove true to the principles of the ^Wilmot Proviso." 
As that principle was a predominating one in his mind, it was 
a long time before he could convince himself of the propriety 
of voting for Gen. Taylor; and we are not sure that he did 
overcome his scruples on that isubject previous to election. 
During this entire campaign, for the first and only one since 
we have known him, Harvey was inactive. AYe mention 
this incident, as it goes to show that in his political action he 
was governed solely by principle, and did not drink of the cup 
set before him by his party simply for the sake of party. 

He was a man of great practical sense. He was not especial- 
ly pre-eminent in any one direction, but he brought soundness 
of views to bear upon all subjects; and he possessed a mind 
that readily adapted itself to circumstances. In short, he was 
a most ready man, either in council, with his pen, or upon the 
speaker's stand. Wherever there was work to do, L. P. Har- 
vey was ahvays found available and ivilliyig. 


Louis P. Harvey 


Public speaking with Gov. Harvev seemed to be a gift of 
nature. It is very rare that a man can be found, not trained in 
some profession calculated to develop this talent, that was bis 
equal as a speaker. His manner was easy and graceful, bis 
language fluent and refined, and bis voice clear and strong. 
We bave beard bim speak on many occasions and on many 
subjects, witb preparation and witbout it, and we never beard 
him when he did not do remarkably well, and adapt himself, 
in a superior degree, to the time, the subject and the circiun- 
fiiances of the occasion. 

Prominent amoEg the characteristics of Gov. Harvey, was 
his strict integrity. In all the heat of partisan strife, his 
honesty of purpose was never questioned, by friend or foe. In 
all the public positions he has held, he has proved reliable and 
true to the trusts reposed in him. He was a member of the 
Senate, during the Land Grant Session of 1856, when the 
integrity of all the members of the Legislature was put to the 
severest test, and he came out of that contest, with his gar- 
ments clean, and with his character untarnished with the 
remotest suspicion of being bribed. He was then a poor man, 
and his influence was greatly needed by the mammoth cor- 
poration, that was so munificent in its "pecuniary compli- 
ments" : but the allurements of no prospective wealth bad the 
effect to swerve Mr. Harvey in the slightest degree from wbat 
he believed to be the path of duty and rigM. His character 
was pure, above suspicion. 

As a friend he was cordial and sincere, ever ready to lend a 
helping hand, wherever aid was deserved. As a citizen he 
was ever foremost in all good works. Benevolent, kind and 
obliging. Any community is blessed that can claim such a 
man. The community to which he belonged, embraced the 
entire State of Wisconsin. 

As has been before indicated. Gov. Harvey was a religious 
man. He made no ostentatious display in this character, but 
taught by example, the true way to live. His whole life was 
such an one, as the young may well strive to imitate. 

6o Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

"Divinely gifted man 
Whose life in low estate began ; 
Who grasped the skirts of happy chance, 
Breasted the blows of circumstance. 
And made by force, his merit known ; 
And lived to clutch the golden keys. 
To mold a mighty State's decrees. 
And shape the whisper of the throne ; 
And, moving up from high to higher. 
Becomes, on fortune's crowning slope 
The pillar of a people's hope, 
The centre of a World's desire." 

Having tlius adverted in an imperfect manner to some of the 
more important events of Gov. Harvey's life, it remains sim- 
ply to allude briefly to the sad manner of his death. 

Immediately npon the receipt of the news of the battle of 
Shiloh, Gov. Harvey felt it to be his duty to repair at once 
to the scene of action, and to do whatever was in his power to 
alleviate the sufferings of the many loyal sons of Wisconsin 
who had been woimded on that occasion. As the Chief Execu- 
tive of the State, he exerted himself to his utmost, for a single 
day, in arousing the people to contribute of such articles as 
they could spare that would seem most likely to be needed 
for the comfort of their wounded friends, and have them in 
immediate readiness, stating that he would be the bearer of 
them to the scene of that gTeat and terrible conflict. The con- 
tributions were liberal and of the right kind. On the follow- 
ing morning, in the full vigor of the most perfect health, and 
with most humane and benevolent motives, he left his home 
duties, his family and comforts, to seek out the afflicted sol- 
diers and carry comfort and consolation to them. His mission 
was eminently successful. His presence among the troops had 
an electric effect — giving them new life and new hope. A 
friend, who accompanied him, thus writes of his labors: 

"He had brought comfort, courage and substantial relief to 
the men, who, after that awful Pittsburg battle, needed them 
if ever men did. He had accomplished much more, in every 
way^ than any other man that I know could have accom- 
plished under the same circumstances. For his sauvity of 
manner and energy of purpose had won from the authorities 


Louis P. Harvey 


privileges which were at first flatly refused, and his goodness 
of heart had won the hearts of soldiers, while at all points of 
our journey, he had made friends and admirers among those 
who had never before heard of him/' 

As an indication of the great satisfaction his labors had 
given to himself, we copy two brief letters, probably the last 
he ever wrote, both dated on the ITth of April. The one to 
his wife reads thus: 

"PiTTSBUBG Landing, April 17, 1SG2. 

"Deae Wife : Yesterday was the day of my life. Thank 
God for the impulse that brought me here. 

"I am well, and have done more good by coming than I 
can well tell you. 

^'In haste, 


In. the other, to his private Secretary, he writes; ^'Thank 
God for the impulse which brought me here. I am doing a 
good work.^' He luas doing a good work, and doing it well; 
— and had finished what it seemed necessary for him to do, 
previous to the dreadful accident that resulted in the loss of 
his life. 

Having bid adieu and God speed to all of our soldiers in 
Tennessee, he had repaired to a boat in the harbor of Savan- 
nah, to await the arrival of another that was soon expected, 
which was to convey him and his friends to Cairo, on their 
homeward trip. It was late in the evening, and the night was 
very dark and rainy. He requested the friends that were with 
him to seek a little rest, while he would keep watch for the 
exp^ted boat, and arouse them in season to go on board. 
The boat hove in sight — the Governor aroused his companions, 
and all were making ready for a start in the direction of home. 
Governor Harvey stood upon the boiler deck of the boat, near 
the centre, in conversation with friends; and as the ex- 
pected boat rounded to, — the bow touching the one upon which 
he stood, he took a step, — as it would seem to move out of 
danger — but by a mis-step, or perhaps a stiunble, — he fell 

62 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

overboard between the two boats, into the Tennessee Eiver, 
where the current was strong, and the water over thirty feet 

Although friends were near, the night being very dark and 
rainy, it was impossibh) to render that aid necessary to save 
him. Every thing was done that friends could do. A cane 
was extended to him by Dr. Wilson, of Sharon, which was 
grasped by the drowning Governor with such force as to 
wrench it at once from the Doctor's hands. Instantly, Dr. 
Clark, of Eacine, plunged into the river, and, making himself 
fast to the boat, stretched out his feet in the direction of the 
Governor, in the hope that he might reach them. Gov. Har- 
vey passed within a few inches of the Doctor's feet, but failing 
to reach them, immediately sunk, and passed under a boat 
lying just below — never to rise again, alive! 

Thus died the noble hearted Governor of Wisconsin, for 
whom the whole people of the State most sincerely mourn. 
For the last few days, he had been doing the greatest work of 
his life; and just as he had finished it, was suddenly called to 
give an account of this, and of all the work of his active life, 
to the Great Judge, to whom we must all, sooner or later, 
render an account of the deeds done in the body! After liv- 
ing such a life — at the conclusion of such a mission as the one 
in which he had been engaged, and having performed its 
requirements so well as he had done — no one can doubt, but 
he was fully prepared to meet his God in peace! 

Let us fervently hope, the lessons we have had of the cer- 
tainty of death, will not be lost upon us. l^Iay they make us 
less fond of the pleasures of this world, so rapidly passing 
away! May they cause those in high places of trust and 
honor, to remember, now, in the days of health, manhood, and 
prosperity, that 

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 

And aU that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike th' Inevitable hour — 

The paths of glory lead but to the grave !" 


Louis P. Harvey 


Hon. H. S. Orton, from the committee appointed to prepare 
an appropriate preamble and resomtions, reported the follow- 
ing, which were unanimously adopted: 

"Wheeeas, It having pleased Almighty God, in his mys- 
terious providence, to deeply afflict the people of this State, by 
the sudden and untimely death of Louis P. Harvey, our late 
honored and beloved Chief Magistrate — whose last act w^as one 
of signal devotion to the highest interests of the State, and to the 
common cause of our country and humanity: It is our melan- 
choly duty as a Society, of which he was a most hoL.ored and 
useful member, to record the virtues and excellencies of his 
life as a valued legacy to the history of the State: Therefore 

^^Resolved, That in the death of Gov. Harvey, the State 
has lost a most able and faithful public officer, and an excel- 
lent and respected citizen, universally honored and beloved 
for his unwavering integrity, his philanthrophy and pat- 
riotism, his firm adherence to principle and duty, and for 
his private virtues as a man and a Christian. He has left 
an example in both his public and private character which 
may be safely and profitably imitated, and unreservedly com- 
mended. In all his official relations, he has been faithful to 
every trust, and rising above mere personal and partisan con- 
siderations, he has in all things sought the public good. His 
personal and official influence has always been used, freely and 
cheerfully, in support of the benevolent and educational in- 
stitutions of the State, and especially is this Society lastingly in- 
debted to him for his enlightened appreciation of its object?, 
and for his constant and unsolicited efforts in its behalf. 

''Resolved, That the memory of Louis P. Harvey is most 
worthy to be cherished by the members, and preserved in the 
annals, of this Society, and that we most heartily tender to 
the friends and family of our deceased member and friend, 
our warmest sympathy in an event so deeply afflicting, and for 
them a loss so irreparable.'' 

64 Wisconsin Historical Collections [roi. t 

Canadian Documents 

In 1862, application was made to Alpheus Todd, Esq., Librarian of the Legis- 
lative Library of Canada, for transcripts of several ancient unpublished docu- 
ments preserved by the Canadian Government, relating: to early Wisconsin History 
from 1690 to 1730. Mr. Todd most obligingly complied with this request, and 
transmitted to the Society some forty pages of transcripts from the French orig- 
inals — a service for which he justly deserves the lasting gratitude of the Society. 

The late Prof. II. J. Turner, Principal of the Janesville French and English 
Academy, very kindly consented to transliite them for publication. In doing so- 
he frequently found it difficult to understand some of the ancient French idioms; 
but it is quite apparent, that he succeeded exceedingly well in giving substan- 
tially an accurate and faithful translation. 

Prof. Turner was born in the City of New York, March 11th, 1809, and when 
an infant, was taken by his parents to Bordeaux, France, where at the age of 
seven, he was placed in a College conducted by the Jesuits, and graduated at 
fourteen. His father was a sea-faring man. and commanded a vessel, and wished 
that his son might become thoroughly versed in all that pertained to life on the 
sea; and desiring to impress on his mind the importance of first learning to 
otei/, as a preliminary acquisition to learning to command, sent him in a friend's 
ship on a voyage as a Cabin boy. Such was his proficiency, and his devotion to 
his new pursuits, that at the age of nineteen he was the owner and commander 
of a large vessel of his own. He continued to follow the sea for several years. 

He at length engaged in teaching— first in New York City, and then in Utica, 
where he met with marked success as an instructor of youth, and especially in 
the French language, of which he possessed a thorough and critical knowledge. 
Loving change and excitement, he finally removed to Wisconsin, first locating at 
Sauk City, and subsequently at Janesville — at both which places his French and 
English boarding school was largely patronized, and highly appreciated. After 
an illness of two weeks. Prof. Turner was called from his useful labors, Nov. 
24th, 1864, in the fifty-sixth year of his age. He had few superiors as a teacher, 
and was an accomplished Christian gentleman. 

These Canadian. Documents thus procured, and translated by one so competent, 
follow in their chronological order, and will be found to reflect much new light 
on portions of our earlier Wisconsin history hitherto involved in doubt and ob- 
scurity. Thev not only furnish some important ofiicial data relative to DeLou- 
yigny's expedition against the Foxes in 1716. but give us some account of the 
subsequent expedition against the same war-like tribe by the Sieur De Villiers. 
in 1730.— an expedition which has been, hitherto, singularly unnoticed by the 
historians of the country. a 

To supplv some intervening links in the interesting story of this dc-per- 
ato war wi'th the Foxes, we insert in their proper chronological order 
Charlevoix's account of De Louvigny's expedition; and two papers on De 
Llgnery-s expedition against the Foxes, in 172^ne written by Father 
Crespel, who was an eyewitness, and the other an official account fur- 
nished to the French government procured from the archives at Paris 


Canadian Documents 


by the late Gen. L-ewis Cass, while serving- as the American Minister there, 
and by him communicated to Gen. W. R. Smith, of our State. 

We also append a traditionary account of Sieur Marin's expedition against the 
Foxes, in March, 1730, written by the late Wm. J. Snelling, a son of Col. Josiah 
Snelling, of the Army. He was born Dec. 26. 1804. spent three years at West 
Point, and repaired to Fort Snelling, his father's post on the Upper Mississippi, 
and passed seven years in that frontier region, in company with hunters, trap- 
pers and Indians. "A man," said Mr. Snelling, "must live, emphatically live 
with Indians ; share with them in their lodges, their food, and their blankets, 
for years, before he can comprehend their ideas or enter into their feelings." 
Thus he did, before he wrote his interesting work, now rare. Tales of the North 
yVest ; or Sketches of Indian Life and Character, published in 1830, and in which 
appeared the traditionary sketch of the Fox war, which he has apparently given 
substantially as he received it from the Indians. A writer in the Literarxf 
World declared that it was during Snelling's long frontier residence that he 
gained a familiarity with the Indian character aad customs most remarkably 
displayed in his work ; and Catlin, the well-known Western traveler and Indian 
chronicler, pronounced the book to be the most faithful picture of Indian life 
ever written. Mr. Snelling, a man of real genius, a wit and a scholar, died at 
his residence, at Chelsea, near Boston, Dec. 24th, 1848. Had he not been a 
victim of an appetite which has beclouded many noble minds, he would have been 
one of the brightest ornaments of American literature. His satire poem, "Tmth," 
has been represented by good judges as instinct with the genuine fire of genius. 

Some notice of De Ix)uvigny, Perrot, De Lignery, De Beaujeu, Marin, Du Buis- 
Bon, De Villiers. De Noyelle, and St. Ange, who figured so prominently, as these 
documents show, in the early Wisconsin military expedition, seems to be neces- 
sary ; and such a paper, prepared from a careful review of the New York Colonial 
Documents, and valuable historical writings and annotations of Dr. E. B. O'Cal- 
laghan, Mr. J. G. Shea, Rev. D. D. Neill, and others, is appended to the^ series. 

L. C. D. 


[Extract of a letter from M. De Frontenac to the Marquis De Seigne- 
lay, November 12th, 1690, relating to the exploits of Sieur De Lou- 
viguy.] ; . i , 

IM. De Seign^elay: 

My Lord — ^Althoiigli Sieur De Limonet has given you a 
pretty exact verbal description of the matters I had confided to 
his charge, I think it my duty to send you a duplicate of the 
dispatch that he w^as obliged to throw into the sea, in order 
that you may still better ascertain the extent of our wants, and 

66 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

the result of the affairs of this country at the time of his de- 

You will see with how much reason and foundation I feared 
the conclusion of the treaty of the Outaouas vnth the Iroquois, 
and the precautions I was taking to prevent its accomplish- 
ment. I fortimately succeeded. I dispatched, in the month 
of May, Sieur De Louvigny, of La Porte, a half -pay captain, 
whose valor and prudence were known to me, with a detach- 
ment of 170 men, Canadians and Indians, with a large amoimt 
of presents. I also sent with him Sieur aSTicolas Perrot, an 
inhabitant of the upper part of this country, who, by the long 
practice and loiowledge he has of the disposition, manners and 
the languages of all the nations of the upper part of this coun- 
try, has acquired much influence among them. They arrived 
just in time at Missilimakinac, so much so that if they had de- 
layed eight days longer^ the ambassadors of the Outaouas would 
have been gone to the Iroquois, returning to them all the 
slaves and prisoners they had, concluding thus definitely their 
treaty and their alliance. Matters shortly bore another aspect. 
They had no sooner learned that their ancient father had re- 
turned, with the same feelings of friendship that he had always 
had for them, than they exclaimed that they wished to come 
down and see him once more, being convinced that he would 
not abandon them, and leave them at the discretion of the 

The conspiracies and intrigues of those who were most in 
favor of the English and the Iroquois were promptly quelled, 
and the Outaouas prepared to descend in large numbers, and 
with much peltry, as you will learn hereafter. 

Sieur De Louvigny very dexterously made use of a fact 
"vvhich occurred during the march of our people, to show all these 
nations that the Prench were not as much discouraged as they 
had been persuaded they were, and that he had resolved that 
his conduct would be quite opposite to that of those in 
previous years. 

Having met thirteen canoes with Iroquois, at sixty leagues 
from Montreal, who endeavored to oppose his passage, he cap- 


Canadian Documents 


tiired nine of them, killed more than thirty men, and wounded 
as nianv. He took four prisoners, two women and two men, 
one of whom was taken to Missilimakinac and given to the 
Outaouas, who burned him and ate him, to show that they de- 
sired no peace with the Iroquois; the other was given to me. 
1 delivered him into the hands of the chief I brought back 
with me from France, whose name is Oreaoue"^, to dispose of 
him as he should wish. One could not believe what effect this 
confidence has had in his feelings. 

You will see, my Lord, all the details of this action, in a 
very exact and circumstantial relation, I have caused to be 
made of all that has taken place here since the departure of 
tlie vessels last year. The Sieurs De Louvigny, D'Hosta and 
1^. Gemcraie have distinguished themselves very much in 


To our Lords of the Sovereign Council of Quebec: 

Louis De la Porte, Sieur De Louvigny, Captain of In- 
fantry, and Second Lieutenant of a Ship of War, humbly 
prays that you will please examine and take notice of the 
request presented by him to my Lord Lieutenant, which goes 

•OuTHEocATi, otherwise called by the French Graxd Guecle, or Big Mouth — 
whose name La Hontax calls Graxgula by merely Latinizing the French. 
He was an Onondaga, and his manly and magnanimous speech to Gov. De La 
Baebb, in 1684, has placed him in the front rank with Logan and Red Jacket, 
as a forest-born Demosthenes. L. C. D. 

tOf this fight and two of its actors, we may add, that on the 2d of June, 
1690, when three leagues above a place called Les Chats, the French dis- 
covered two Iroquois canoes some distance from them ; when Sieur De Lol vigny. 
after having sent out a party of thirty men in three canoes, who were fired 
upon by the Iroquois in ambush, and four killed on the spot, now joined by 
Sieurs D'IIosta and Db La Gesierate^ led on some fifty or sixty men, ran over^ 
land, attacked the enemy in their ambuscade, and forced them to a precipitate 
embarkation in their canoes, with the loss indicated in the narrative. 

Sieur D'Hosta, it would appear, was at the burning of Schnectady in Feb- 
ruary, 1G90; then served on this expedition under De Locvignt, and aided in 
defeating the Iroquois, when he returned to Montreal, and. In August, 1691, 
was killed in the defense of Chambly. 

Sieur De La Gemerave was serving as a Lieutenant at Fort Niagara when 
that fortification was demolished in September. 1688 : in 1090, accompanied 
Db Locvigny and took an active part in fighting the Iroquois near Lea Chats; 
he led a party against the Iroquoisi in 1G92, and had an engagement with 
them at Long Sault on the Ottawa River; and, in lG97-'98. we find him in 
command of Fort Frontenac. L. C. D. 


68 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

to prove clearly, that the accusation made against him can. 
not be prejudicial to him, inasmuch as he only acted in the 
service of the king, and for the good of the Colony, during 
the time he served in Canada. The petitioner is well per- 
suaded that you, our Lords, know the above stated facts, and 
that in all the employments which he has had, our Lords the 
Gx>vernors General have not complained of his conduct, which 
i? very clearly explained in his request, and proved by the 
certificates that they have given him of it. 

You know, my Lords, that he has been honored with several 
commands from which he retired with the approbation, not 
only of his Generals, but of also of all the public. To-day, not- 
withstanding he is accused, of having acted contrary to the 
orders of his Majesty, during his command of the Fort of 
Frontenac, where the petitioner hoped to reap more glory and 
advantages than in any other place where he had been, on 
account of what he had done for the glory of the King, and 
the great advantage of the Colony. 

The petitioner is accused of having negotiated with the 
Iroquois Indians. H!e has never done it; and this crime can- 
not be imputed to him, without a desire of wounding his 
honor, tarnishing his reputation, and telling a falsehood. If it 
is said that when Indians came to ask peace of my Lord the 
Governor General, they stated that the petitioner had sold to 
them goods at high prices, it is an expression made use of 
by all nations, as they are in the habit of attributing the evil 
or the good which occurs to them, to the Governors and Com- 
manders of the posts where they are. They alstr have a 
natural habit of always complaining of the dearness of mer- 
chandize, if they were even sold at the same price as in 
Prance. Persons who have frequented them are convinced of 
this fact. 

Although the Indians never acknowledge the benefits which 
they have received, yet on this occasion there is an exception, 
for these have acknowledged in the general council held to con- 
clude the peace for which your petitioner has employed his 
energies and his means, that they were under obligations to him 


Canadian Documents 


for having assisted them in their need. The disposition of 
these wild men, little accustomed to praise any one, suggests 
reflection, and would suffice even to convince you, our Lords, 
of the uprightness of the proceedings of your petitioner, who 
to pursuade the notable men of the Iroquois nation to come and 
ask peace of my Lord, the Governor General, and engage others 
.to bring their skins and fur to Montreal, has not spared any 
effort, either in the knowledge whicb he has acquired during 
the five years he has had the honor to command the Outaouas 
or in all the voyages that he has made, using all the necessary 
means to reach the end arrived at to-day, securing a solid 
peace, which must give a new life to the Colony. 

To give you an idea of the manner in which your petitioner 
acted, he prays our Lords to consider that when he reached the 
Port Frontenac, according to the order of my Lord the Cheva- 
lier De Calliere, the Iroquois gathered there to the number 
of 600 men or more. They were very resentful on account of 
the blow struck by the Algonkins and others, our allies, on 
the Chaudiere River. They only thought of revenging them- 
selves, ^^'otwithstanding the parleys for peace they had had 
during the war with my Lord the Count De Frontenac, and 
continued during this apparent suspension of hostilities with 
my Lord the Chevalier De Calliere, they were naturally in- 
clined to war, as they were warriors; but this strong desire 
was still more increased by the number of their wounded, who 
are now at their homes, and whose condition stimulates their 
brethren to vengeance. 

If the petitioner had to answer judges who were ignorant of 
the habits of the Indians, he would explain to them how dif- 
ficult it is to captivate their minds, how much it is necessary 
to expend to persuade them to carry out any plan, and how litr 
tie confidence can be placed in their words ; but, my Lords, you 
are too much enlightened, and know the steps which have been 
taken, the sums which have been expended to the present time 
to obtain a peace so necessary to this Colony — all to no ef- 
fect, although several embassies were received from the enemy. 
You are acquainted vdth the perfidy of this nation, and the 

yo Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. v 

examples which they have given in violating the most sacred 
laws, by the destruction and cruel death of the ambassadors 
sent to them by my Lord the Count De Frontenac, ^vithout 
my undertaking to tell you of them, nor my reealling to your 
memory the unheard of cruelties of these barbarians. 

The petitioner has no desire, except that of explaining to our 
Lords his behavior whilst he remained in Eort Frontenac, tak- 
ing in consideration the knowledge he had of the utility of 
gpeace and the gTeat good which resulted from it, and that ac- 
cording to the insight he has of the politics pf the Indians. 

The petitioner who saw that this numerous party of Iro- 
quois wished to attack the Algonkins on their hunting grounds, 
from which, at the most, they were only sixty leagues distant, 
and knowing that if they succeeded in their attempt, it would 
destroy all the measures taken for peace, and entirely ruin the 
commerce of Montreal, he proposed to some trusty Indians to 
go down to Montreal, in order to inform my Lord the Governor 
General, that the next spring they would go down in number 
to listen to his voice. 

The petitioner thought of this expedient to separate them, 
and avoid the blow they were meditating; and he succeeded. 
Two amongst them accepted the terms. With the assurance that 
the others would not commit any act of hostility, he sent with 
them a Frenchman to be witness of their actions on the route. 

The petitioner had the honor to \\Tite and state to my Lord 
the Governor General, the feelings of the Iroquois towards the 
Algonkins; he even took the liberty to tell him that he thought 
it necessary to send some authorized persons to their village 
to pacify their minds, and persuade them to go down to Mon- 
treal, as they, according to his belief, were not disposed to do 
it. The petitioner prays our Lords to notice that the effects 
which foUowed were the result of his thoughts. 

During the absence of the deputies the petitioner treated 
those who remained near the Fort, in such a way as not to ex- 
cite their ill-will. Extraordinary precautions were necessary, 
inasmuch as news came of the loss of forty-two persons who 
had been killed bv -the Outaouas. The petitioner gi'anted to 


Canadian Documents 


three or four Indians at a time, permission to enter within 
the Fort; he feasted them, gave them some of his own clothes, 
j)owder, balls, bread and other provisions, he had bought for 
liis voyage. He even gave them some of the blankets from 
liis o\\7i bed, and some of his shirts; but as he had not suffi- 
ciency to give to all those who wished to obtain presents, and 
fearing also the exasperation of some of the more turbulent 
.spirits anioung them, he felt constrained to permit the officers 
and soldiers to exchange some clothing they had with the Iro- 
quois for elk and deer skins, of which they had an abundance. 
Your petitioner had encouraged them to hunt these animals,. 
a« much to ])revent them from entering into the depth of the 
wokIs, on account of the Algonkins, as to divert them from 
liunting the beaver, which is the commerce they generally 
f'arr\^ on with the English. 

These Indians believed what the petitioner told them, and 
went down with a large number of loaded canoes to Montreal. 
•Judge, I pray you, my Lords, of the advantage the Colony has 
reaped from the cares of your petitioner, and of those further 
advantages it will receive hereafter, from the willingness of the 
Iroquois to trade now with our Colony, not only on account of 
tlie convenience of transportation of their effects by water, but 
also on account of the market they have found for all kinds 
of skins and furs — advantages they have not met with in 'Nevr 
England, and for which this country is obligated to the peti- 

The return of the envoys was no sooner known, than the 
petitioner sent some men to give advice of it on all of the hunt- 
ing grounds, where he exhorted the Indians to remember the 
promises they had sent^to my Lord the Governor General, and 
order them to return from their hunt, and go down to Mon- 
treal. They went, and -you know, my Lord, the result of the 
steps of your petitioner, inasmuch as they went dowiiy and 
that they took with them to their villages, persons capable of 
conciliating their minds, and inducing them to come and so- 
licit peace from my Lord the Governor General. The peti- 
tioner can say without dispute that matters have resulted as 
he had intended them. 

72 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. r 

The petitioner cannot avoid acknowledging to our Lords, 
that the Iroquois, feeling grateful for the kindness they had 
received at his hands, presented to him and his officers, many 
elk skins and other furs. You are aware, that no nation ex- 
cels them in generosity, and that they have a sense of honor 
on this point, which sui^asses all other people; besides the 
large quantity of peltry they had, which they thought they 
could not transport, and upon which they placed but little 
value, facilitated them in their liberalities. These presents 
so justly acquired, have been sent without the precautions that 
\^ould be taken with articles obtained by unlawful means; 
therefore, the petitioner confiding in the uprightness of his 
proceedings, not anticipating that goods so rightfully his, 
would be seized, did not endeavor in any way to send them 

What should not your petitioner fear after accusations as 
strong as those which have been brought against him, if he was 
not persuaded our Lords, of your justice, of your equity, and 
of the faithful examination you vnll please make of the papers 
which tend to his justification, exhibited in the request to my 
Lord Lieutenant — transactions principally in a distant land, 
while living with Indians with whom he was obliged to conduct 
himself according to the caprices and occurrences of the occa- 
sion, or rim the risk of losing very considerable advantages, 
had he acted other\\ase than he did. Belying upon that pene- 
tration which characterizes you in the settlement of incidents 
which occur in this Colony, his Majesty approves all your de- 
cisions; and replying as your petitioner does, upon the same 
penetration, and upon the equitable distinction you make in the 
affairs of this l^ew World, as compared with those which 
might occur in France, added to the knowledge you have of the 
conduct of him during the eighteen years that he has been em- 
ployed in the service of this Colony, with pleasure and with gen- 
eral praise, that he hopes from our Lords a favorable judgment. 

Taking this into consideration, our Lords, please discharge 
the petitioner from the accusation brought against him ; order 
that he may claim the skins and furs seized from him, and 


Canadian Documents 


that they may be returned by the depositaries on an order 
certified by him ; or, at least, that the skins and furs may be 
immediately sold for the benefit of the one to whom ihey may 
be adjudicated; for if they should remain longer, they would 
lose in value, either in the price, or for the want of care; and 
that you will execute justice. 

Signed: De La Porte Louvigny. 

Compare with the original, remaining in the registry of 

the Sovereign Council, by me King-'s Coimcillor and Secretary, 

Kecorder in chief. Undersigned. 

Signed : Peuveet. 
In Quebec, November 6th, 1700. 


[Extract of a letter of Chevalier De Callieres to the Minister, November 
7, 1700, informing him of the judgnent which had been rendered 
in the affair of Sieur De Louvigny,] 

My Loed: — I had the honor to write to you in my last, of 
the 16th of October, that they were trying the case of Sieur 
De Louvig-ny and other officers, for having acted against the 
oiders of the Xing, and that I would inform you exactly of 
the judgment that would be rendered in this affair. 

It has been conducted in a manner which desen^es that you 
should have particular information of it, £.nd that I should give 
ycu an exact account of it from the commencement to the de- 
cision, which has just been made by the Sovereign Council. 

You have already learned, that last autumn I sent for Sieur 
De Louvig-ny to command at Fort Frontenac, forbidding 
him, according to the orders of the King, to carry on any com- 
merce there. I was apprised of his violation of these orders 
by some Indians of the Sault this spring. They told me they 
had been stripped at that post, where they traded for their furs. 

74 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

thereby depriving them of the means of paying their debts in 

This news was confirmed to me a short time a'fterwards 
by an advice that I had, that Sieur De Louvigny was send- 
ing down several canoes loaded with skins ; upon which I took 
a detachment, commanded by Sienrs Clerin and De Chacor- 
nacle, to go and attach them. It w^as punctually executed. I 
afterwards had the furs put in the King's storehouse, causing 
the store-keeper to give me an account of the same. I sum- 
moned to my house the persons who had brought them down. 
Mens. De Champigny arriving at this time from Quebec, and 
seeing that I w^as commencing legal proceedings, told me that 
it was an aliair in his jurisdiction, having replied to him 
that it was rather within mine, as it was a case of military jus- 
tice, on account of the contravention of Sieur De Louvigny, 
and the disobedience of the orders which I had given in con- 
formity with those of the King. He answwed, and asked if 
I had not as much confidence in him a^ I had in my major, 
adding that, if I desired it, he w^ould prepare the case for trial 
and adjudication. 

Being desirous of acting in concert with me, this proceeding 
obliged me to let him conduct the affair, having no doubt but 
it would be referred to me, and that both of us would judge 
it in the Comicil of War; but the result was different, for M. 
De Champigny went do^\^l to Quebec and referred it to the 
Sovereign Council, without advising me of the fact. I learned 
it through Sieur De la Martiniere, who was appointed re- 
porter, and who came and told me of it. I answered that I 
thought that this affair would be referred to me, since I was 
the competent judge of it; but having ascertained that it was 
not their intention to do so, and wishing to avoid all discus- 
sions and delays as the vessels were at the moment of their 
departure, I advised my Lord Lieutenant of my willingness 
to have the affair judged by the Council, as it was necessary 
to make a prompt example, which would tell in this country 
— remedy its disorders and prevent their ill consequences ; and 
at last, that I might render to you an account of it. 


Canadian Documents 


I have thought it my duty, for the good of the service, to 
be present at the rendering of the judgment, and to add to it 
the orders and the necessary papers which prove sufficiently 
the disobedience of Sieur De Louviguy and others; of which 
I also here add his petition, shewing clearly the specious pre- 
text he alleged to justify his conduct, wishing to convey the 
idea that this conmierce had contributed towards establishing 
the peace with the Iroquois; whereas, on the contrary, it de- 
layed it, by furnishing the enemy with necessary articles, and 
came near preventing them from coming to see me. 

I have remarked that this trial was defective, inasmuch as 
no inquiry had been established against the merchants who 
furnished the merchandise, nor against those who secreted the 
remainder of the furs, which could not be seized ; nor has there 
been any established against those who brought the merchan- 
dize to Fort Frontenac, although they had the testimony of 
one of the witnesse-s. 

The Council has at last referred Sieur De Louvigny and his 
accomplices to the King; also the trial which they have had. 
This was done against my opinion, as you will see, my Lord, 
by my advice enclosed among the papers of the Eegister of 
the Sovereign Council, according to the extract which I add 
here, although the opinion of their guilt was established, and 
the furs confiscated for the use of the King, and that in order 
to sell them to pretended merchants, wdio obtained them at 
two-thirds less than their actual worth at the current price, as 
you will see by the account that I shall send you. 

If these kind of contraventions and disobediences remain 
unpunished, it is very certain that it is useless to forward or- 
ders to this country, since it is impossible to have them .exe- 
cuted on account of the indulgence these gentlemen have had 
in finding the means to elude the punishment so necessary to 
^top the reckless violation of the orders of his llajesty. 

It is incontestible, that the means adopted by the Sovereign 
Council are very captious, inasmuch as the question was to 
absolve Sieur De Louvigny and others, or punish them for 
their disobedience; but it has done neither the one nor the 

76 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

other with reference to annihilating mj authority concerning 
the orders I have given. 

This is why I am obliged, my Lord, to pray you to make a 
regulation which will decide to whom it will belong to take 
cognizance of cases in which there will be a question of contra- 
vention, especially on the part of the officers, when the orders 
of the King will be addressed to me, or that I shall issue or- 
ders for the good of the service of his Majesty. I could not 
have them executed according to your intentions, if this au' 
thority remained any longer imdecided, because I am happy 
to preserve all the moderation you will desire until the King 
has declared his will. 

It is, however, to be regretted, that the Sieurs De Louviguy 
and De la Perotiere have been so far blinded by interest as 
to commit such a fault, having fulfilled their duty well here- 
tofore, they deserve that the King should take it into con- 

[Extract from a letter from Messrs. De Callieres and De Champigny to 
the IVIinister, October '5, 1701, concernicg the Sieur De Louvigny, 
Major of the Three Rivers.] 

We shall not fail to execute the orders he gives us concern- 
ing the seizures of the furs of Sieur De Xouvigny, and to ad- 
vise the Sovereign Council that he has not been satisfied with 
the judgment rendered in this affair. 

M. Sieur De Champigny, however, hopes that when the 
Council will have explained the reasons for acting as it did, 
his Majesty will not disapprove it. 

It is a pleasure for us to learn that he has given to M. De 
Louvigny the company he had; but that which embarrasses 
us a little, is, that this company having been given to Sieur 
De Tonty through the promotion of Sieur De Louvigny to 
the rank of Major of the Three Kivers, finds himself without 
a company, although he is the oldest of the Captains on half 
pay, three of whom have been made Captains on full pay this 


Canadian Documents 


year. But as there is a vacancy made in a company tliroiigh 
the death of Sieiir De Grais, we are persuaded, my Lord, that 
you will authorize us to pay the salary to Sieur De Tonty, 
from the day that the Sieur De Louvio-ny takes charge of his ; 
and we pray you very humbly to send to us next year an 
order by which Sieur De Tonty will be entitled to the charge 
of the company, as it is not just that whilst he is now serving 
his Majesty Ui the establishment which is being made in De- 
troit, he should be deprived of a salary and a company. 

His Majesty has made Sieur De Louvigny a Major on con- 
dition that he would give to the widow of the deceased Sieur 
De Grand Pre, heretofore provided with the employment, 
the sum of 2000 li but the money not having been received, 
it could not be executed. However, as the salaries attached 
to the rank have been sequestered on account of Sieur De 
Louvigny's affair of last year, and .tjhat you have not paid 
them back, his Majesty could gTant to this poor widow, with a 
large family of children, the revenue of those two years, which 
amounts to 1700 li. We hiunbly pray that his Majesty will 
do it. 


[Extract of a letter from Messrs. De Vaudreuil and De Beauliarnois, 
November 15th, 1703 concerning a proposition of De Louvigny re- 
lating to an Expedition beyond Lake Superior.] 

The Sieur De Louvigny, major of Quebec, has proposed 
to us, my Lord, to go on an expedition beyond Lake Superior. 
As his project is herewith \ annexed, we beseech you to cause 
an account to be rendered to you of it, and to tell us, my Lord, 
your intentions. We will have the honor to say to you, that 
the Sieur De Louvigny is a very good officer, and capable of 
directing well an enterprise. 

*Li — an abbreviation for livre, a former French coin, equal to 20 sous or 
18 Vl; cents. L. C D. 

78 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.y 

Origin of the Fox War 

In the year 1700, the Sauks and Foxes were defeated in a contest with the 
Sioux or Dakotahs and loways ; and, in May, 1712, we find them instigated by 
the Iroquois, and led on by their brave and enterprising Chief Pemoussa, 
planning the destruction of Detroit, then having only a small garrison of 
thirty men, with M. Du Buisson as commandant. The French made the best 
defence they could, and were happily soon joined by a large force of friendly 
Indians, sallied out and surrounded their invaders, who were ensconced in 
holes they had dug in the ground. Much severe fighting took place, and, 
after nineteen days, the Sauks and Foxes escaped one dark and rainy night, 
but were overtaken at Presque Isle, near Lake St. Clair, where, in the exagge- 
rated French accounts of that day, in a desperate fight which ensued, they 
lost a thousand men, women and children, and during the whole expedition 
two thousand. L. C. D. 


[Sieur De Louvigny's letter, thanking the Council for having granted to 
him the Lieutenancy, and giving an account of his Expedition 
- against the Foxes, from the 13th of March to the 13th of October, 

I have the honor to thank very hiunbly, the Council, for the 
Lieutenancy of the King, which it has" pleased them to grant 
me, and I mil endeavor to fulfill mj duty in such a way that 
they will be satisfied with my services. I will also liav? the 
honor to render to them an account of the expedition I have 
made ag-ainst the Foxes, from whence I returned the 12th of 
this month, having started from here the 14th of March: 

After three days of open trenches sustained by a continuous 


Canadian Documents 


fire of fusileers, Tvith two pieces of cannon, and a grenade 
mortar, they were reduced to ask for peace, notwithstanding 
they had five hundred warriors in the fort, who fired briskly, 
and more than three thousand women; they also expected 
shortly a reinforcement of three hundred men. But the 
promptitude with which the officers, who were in this action, 
pushed forward the trenches, that I had opened at only 
seventy yards from their fort, made the enemy fear the third 
idght that they would be taken. As I was only twenty-four 
yards from their fort, my design was to reach their triple oak 
stakes by a ditch of a foot and a half in the rear. Perceiving 
very well that my balls had not the effect I anticipated, I 
decided to take the place at the first onset, and to explode 
two mines under their curtains. The boxes being properly 
placed for the purpose, I did not listen to the enemy's first 
proposition; but they having made a second one, I submitted, 
it to my allies, who consented to it on the following condi- 
tions : 

That the Foxes and their allies would make peace with all 
the Indians who are submissive to the King, and with whom 
the French are engaged in trade an3 commerce ; and that they 
would return to me all the French prisoners that they have, 
and those captured during the war from all our allies. This 
was complied with inamediately. That they would take 
slaves from distant nations, and deliver them to our allies to 
replace their dead; that they w^ould hunt to pay the expenses 
of this war; and, as a surety of the keeping of their word, 
they should deliver me six chiefs, or children of chiefs, to 
take with me to M. La Marquis De Yaudreuil as hostages, 
Tmtil the entire execution of our treaty ; which they did, and I 
took them with me to Quebec. Besides I have reunited tho 
other nations at variance among themselves, and have left that 
country enjoying universal peace. 

I very humbly beseech the Council to consider, that this ex- 
pedition has been very long and very laborious; that the vic- 
torious armies of the King have been led by me more than 
five hundred leagues from our towns, all of which has not been 

8o Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

executed without much fatigue and expense; to which I ask 
the Council to please give their attention, in order that \.hey 
may allow me the gratification they may think proper, as I 
have not carried on any kind of commerce. On the contrary, 
I gave to all the nations which were mth me, the few beaver 
skins that the Foxes had presented me with, to convince them 
that in the war the French w^ere prosecuting, they were not 
guided by motives of interest. All those who served in the 
campaign with me, can testify to what I take the liberty to tell 
the Council. 

Signed: Louvigny. 
At Quebec, October 14, 1716. 


[M. De Vaudreuil's letter, dated Quebec, October 30, 1716, relative to 
the services of M. De Louvigny.] 

By my memorial of the 16th of this month, I informed the 
Council of the manner in which the Sieur De Louvigny put 
an end to the war with the Foxes. 

I now feel it my duty to call the attention of the Council to 
the merits of that officer. He has always served his country 
"with much distinction ; but in his expedition against the Foxes 
he signalized himself still more by his valor, his capacity, 
and his conduct, in which he displayed a great deal of pru- 
dence. He urged the canoes that ascended with him to make 
all possible speed, and he obliged those in Detroit to accom- 
pany him. He showed the Hurons and other Indians of that 
place, that he v/as going to the war in earnest; that he was 
not a trader, and he could dispense with their services. This 
brought them back to their duty. But it was especially at 
Michillimakinac, where he was anxiously expected, that his 
presence inspired in all the Frenchmen and Indians a confi- 
dence which was a presage of victory. Again; he made the 


Canadian Documents 


war short, but the peace which results from it will not be of 
short duration. 

I shall be obliged to dispatch him in the very commence- 
ment of next spring to return to Michillimakinac to confirm 
this peace, embracing in it all the nations of the Upper Coun- 
try, and to keep the promise he made to the chiefs of the Foxes 
who are to come down to Montreal, that they would find him 
at Michillimakinac. All these movements are not made with- 
out great labor and many expenses, and I cannot omit saying, 
that this officer deserves that the Council should gTant him 
6ome favor. 

Signed : Vaudeeuil. 

On the margin is written: "Approved by the Council, February 2u, 

Signed: La Ciiapixle." 


Charlevoix, the historian of 'New France, has given us a 
narrative of De Louvigny's expedition, which, from the vague- 
ness of the date he assigned it, has been by subsequent writers 
construed as having taken place in 1714, but a reference to the 
original work will quite as well warrant the conclusion that it 
was the year 1716 — ^which it really was, as De Louvigny's offi- 
cial account, now first published over a hundred and fifty years 
afterwards, conclusively shows. To preserve Charlevoix's ac- 
count in this connection, we give it by combining with our 
own, the partial translation of it in Wynne's British Empire 
in America, London, 1770, and in Smith's History of Vliscorh- 

The Outagamies,* notwithstanding the blow which they had 
received in the affair at Detroit in 1712, were more exasperat- 

•Thls \*as the Indian name by wblcb the Foxes were generally known, which 
the French translated Lc« Rcnarda. Tj. C. 

82 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

ed than ever against the French. They collected their scat- 
tered bands on the Fox River of Green Bay, their natural 
country, and infested all the communications between the Col- 
ony and its most distant posts, robbing and murdering travel- 
ers; and in this they succeeded so well, that they brought over 
the Sioux to join them openly, while many of the Iroquois fa- 
vored them clandestinely. In short, there was some danger of a 
general confederacy amongst all the savages against the French. 

This hostile conduct on the part of the Foxes, induced the 
Marquis De Yaudreuil to propose a union of the friendly 
tribes with the French, in an expedition against the common 
enemy, who readily gave their consent. A party of French 
was raised, and the command of the expedition was confided 
to M. De Louvigny, the King-'s Lieutenant at Quebec. A 
number of savages joined him on his route, and he soon found 
himself at the head of eight hundred men, all resolved not to 
lay do\vn their arms while an Outagamie remained in Canada. 
Every one believed that the Fox nation was about to be en- 
tirely destroyed, and so the Outagaiuies themselves judged, 
when they saw the storm gathering against them, and there- 
fore determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible. 

More than five himdred warriors and three thousand wo- 
men, shut themselves up in a sort of fort,* surrounded by 
three ranges of oak palisades, with a good ditch in the rear. 
Three hundred men were on the route to reinforce them, but 
they did not arrive in time. De Louvigny now attacked 
them in form; he had two field-pieces and a grenade mortar; 
the trenches were opened thirty-five toises [twelve rods and 
three-quarters] from the fort, and on the third day he was only 
twelve toises distant, when the besieged opened a heavy fire 
upon the French. While De Louvigny was preparing to un- 
dermine their works, the Foxes proposed terms of capitulation, 
w^hich were rejected. In a little time they submitted others: 
First, That the Outagamies and their confederates should 
make peace with the French and their allies: Secondly, That 

•Gen. Smith adds: On Fox Hirer, now known as the Butte dca Morta, or 
Hill of the Dead. ^- ^' ^- 


Canadian Documents 


they should previously release all their prisoners: Thirdly^ 
That they should replace the French whom they had killed 
by slaves, whom they were to make prisoners from the distant 
nations with whom they were at war: Fourthly, That they 
should pay the expenses of the war by the products of the 

De Louvigny pretended to his allies, to whom he distrib- 
uted a few beaver skins presented to him by the Outagamies, 
that he had consented to pardon the besieged on these condi- 
tions; but he should deceive himself if he believed the Foxes 
sincere. It was appai-ent to every one that they could not con- 
ceal their dissimulation ; but he left them, and returned to Que- 
bec, where it is certain that the reception his General gave him, 
and the yet greater distinction that he received from the French 
Court the following year, proved that he had already distin- 
guished himself; that he had done nothing without authority; 
and the sequel shows, that this command had not been given 
with a knowledge of ,the cause. M. De Louvigny concluded 
peace with the Foxes, having received from them six hostages, 
either chiefs or sons of chiefs, as a surety for the fulfillment of 
their pledge to send deputies to ^Montreal, in order to ratify 
the treaty there with the Governor-General. And this treaty,, 
which they had reduced to writing with De Louvigny,* con- 
tained an express cession of the country to the French. 

Unfortunately the small pox, which raged the following win- 
ter in the Colony, and among the neighboring tribes, carried 
off three of the hostages, who died at Montreal, and among 
them the famous war chief Pemoussa. De Vaudreuil, fearful 
lest the treaty should fail, hastened upon the ice to Montreal, 
and despatched De Louvigny to Michillimakinac, with orders 
to execute the conditions accepted by the Foxes, and to bring 
to Montreal the chiefs of that and neighboring tribes, together 
with the ranger-deserters, to whom the king had granted a full 

De Louvigny set out at the close of May, 1717. One of the 
surviving hostages, who had been attacked by the small-pox, 

•I'robablj referring to an fcrjgrofetjtd cupy. L- C. D. 


84 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

with the others, and had lost an eye by it, was taJ^en along, 
that he might b^;,r testimony to his people with what tender- 
ness he and his companions had been treated. As soon as De 
Louvigny arrived at Michillimackinac, he dispatched this one- 
«ye(l chief to the Foxes, attended by two French interpreters, 
'with presents to cover the three dead hostages. They were 
well received, smoked the calumet, and sang the songs of peace, 
and after spending some days in grieving for the dead, they 
met to listen to the hostage. He represented all matters in a 
proper manner, and severely reproached the chiefs for not hav- 
ing repaired to Michillimackinac. 

The chiefs declared to the interpreters, that they were 
very sensible of the kindness which the Governor General 
continued to show to thepa; but excused themselves for not 
having already sent deputies to fulfill the treaty, .and prom- 
ised to comply with their word the following year, giving 
this 2)ledge in writing;^ adding that they would never forget 
that they were indebted for their lives entirely .to the clemency 
of their good father, the Governor. The hostage then set out 
Tvith the interpreters, to rejoin De Louvigny, at Michillimack- 
inac; but after traveling about twenty leagues, he left them, 
saying it was necessary he should return to urge upon his 
people a faithful compliance with their promise, i^othing 
further was heard from him. The Foxes failed to sena 
deputies to the Governor General, and all the fruit De Lou- 
vigny reaped from this laborious journey, was bringing back 
to the Colony nearly all the ranger-deserters, and engaging 
a very large number of Indians to transport their peltries 
to Montreal, in greater quantities than they had done for a 
long while before. Gov. De Yaudreuil flattered himself for 
a long time thu,t the Foxes would send the promised deputies 
to him; but he was only taught by the renewal of their old 
<3onduct, that an enemy driven to a certain point is always 

While the Foxes were discomfitted in many encounters, 
they, on their own part, compelled the Illinois to abandon 
their river forever; although after repeated defeats, it could 


Canadian Documents 85 

scarcely be conceived that there remained enough of that 
nation to form even a trifling village, jet no one ventured to 

go from Canada to Louisiana, without taking the utmost pre- 
caution against their surprises; and, it is said, that they had 
formed an alliance with the Sioux, the most numerous Indian 
tribe of Canada, and with the Chickasaws, the bravest nation 
of Louisiana. 


[Extract from a letter from the Bishop of Quebec, dated October 1, 
1725, announcing the death of Sieur De Louvigny.] 

I was awaiting the ariival of the King's vessel to speak to 
you of many things; but, O, good God! what news have we 
just learned! After a happy voyage as far as the shores of 
L'Isle Royal, those who managed her took their measures so 
badly that they cast her away on the night between the 27th 
and 28th of August, at two leagues from Louisburg, on a reef 
of rocks, where she was entirely broken at the first stroke. 
All on board perished; not one soul was saved. 

When the news reached here, it caused such dreadful con- 
sternation, desolation and misery, that I cannot forbear recom- 
mending to you several widows. Madame De Louvigny de- 
serves, on account of the good services of her husband, that 
you should continue to her and her two daughters the pension 
you have settled upon him.* 

♦With reference to this ship-wreck, we find the following in Charlevoix's 
History of 2iexc Irance: On the niglit of the 25th of August, 1725, the King's 
vessel, The Camel, bound to Quebec, \raa wrecked near Louisburg, and not a 
soul saved. M. De Chazel, who was sent to relieve M. Begon, Intendant of 
Canada, M. r>e Louvi^-ny, named Governor of Three Rivers, the same of 
whom we have so frequently spoken in this history, Capt. De La Gess, the 
son of M. De Rameza, who died the preceding year as Governor of Montreal, 
together v/ith many officers of the Colony, Ecclesiastics, Recollects and Jesuits, 
all perished Iheie ^Uh their property. L. C D. 

86 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. y 

In 1719, while three deputies of the Foxes were at Moutreal, with assurances 
of peace and good will, having surrendered all the prisoners they had taken, a 
new source of uneasiness arose. A party of forty Foxes, Kickapoos and Mascou- 
tlns were out on a summer hunt, when a party of forty Illinois completely sur- 
rounded them, probably while asleep, and ki'led one-half of them on the spot, 
and captured the others. The Fox deputies asserted that the Illinois had at- 
tacked them on several occasions during the last year. Gov. Vaudreuil urg:ed 
pacific measures, and "that they must prevail with their allies, the Sacs, to 
labor to that end." In a better of the King, May 14, 172S, to Vaudreuil, he said: 
"According to the intelligence his Majesty had received respecting the negotia- 
tion of peace between the Illinois and Fox Indians, he had reason to believe 
that it was on the eve of being concluded, and has been much surprised to learn, 
not only that it had been broken off, but, still more, that Sieur De Beauharnois 
had determined to make war on the Foxes ! Ills Majesty is persuaded of the 
necessity of destroying that nation, as it cannot be kept quiet, and as it wiFI 
cause, so long as it exists, both trouble and disorder in the Upper Country; but 
should have wished that such a step, the success whereof is problematical, had 
been postponed until his orders had been received. It is even to be feared, that 
the project may not have been so secret as that the Indians have not been in- 
formed of it. In this case, if they foresee their inability to resist, they will 
have adopted the policy of retreating to the Sioux of the Prairies, from which 
point they will cause more disorder in the Colony than if they had been allowed 
to remain quiet in their village. I'ossibly even- the other nations, who have been 
apparently animated against the Foxes, will be touched at their destruction, and 
become more insolent should we not succeed. As the expedition is apparently 
organized at present, his Majesty has been graciously pleased to a low the sixty 
millions of livres demanded by the Sieurs de Beauharnois and Dupuy, for the 
expenses of that war, news of the success of which he will be expecting with 

The following extract relative to Sieur De Lignery's expedition against the 
Foxes, in 1728, is taken from the Voyages of the Rev. Father Emanuel Crespel in 
Canada, edited by his brother Louis Crespel, and first published in French, at 
Frankfort, in 1752, in a small 12mo volume of 135 pages— a copy of which is in 
the library of our Historical Society; another edition in French was issued at 
Amsterdam in 1757, and an English translation in Ix>ndon, in 1797. Of the author 
we have no knowledge; he had probab y died before the publication of his work 
under his })rother'8 auspices, who is represented as alike an artist and author. 
The translation of this extract was made by Gen. W. R. Smith. L. C IX 


1867J Canadian Documents 87 


On the Seventeenth day of March, in the year of my depar- 
ture from Quebec. (172G), IL Be La Croix De St. Valier, 
Bishop of that city, conferred upon me the degree of Priest, 
and gave me shortly afterward a mission, or curacy, called 
S'orei, situated south of the river St. Lawrence, between the 
city of the Three Eivers and Montreal. I was withdrawn 
from my curacy, where I had already remained two years, 
and appointed almoner to a party of four hundred Erenchmen, 
tjiat the Marquis De Beauharnois had joined to eight or nine 
himdred savages, of all manner of nations, but principally 
Iroquois, Hurons, E'epissings and Outaouacs, to whom M. Pe- 
eet, Priest, and Father De La Bertonniere, Jesuit, served as 
almoners. These troops, coimnanded by Monsieur Lignerie, 
were commissioned to go and destroy a nation called the Foxes, 
whose principal habitation was distant from Montreal about 
four hundred and fifty leagues. 

We commenced our march on the 5th of Jime, 1728, and 
ascended nearly a hundred and fifty leagues up the great river 
which bears the name of the Outaouacs, and which is filled 
with falls and portages. \Ye quitted it at Mataouan, to take 
the one which empties into lake is'epissing; it is about thirty 
leagues in length, and is obstructed by falls and portages like 
that of the Outaouacs. From this river we entered into the 
lake, the width of which is about eight leag-ues ; and from this 
lake, French river very soon conducts us to Lake Huron, into 
which it empties, after traversing more than thirty leagues 
with great rapidity. 

As it is not possible for many persons to travel together on 
these small rivers, it was agreed that those who first passed 
should wait for the others at the entrance of Lake Huron, at a 
place called the Prairie, and which is, indeed, a most beautiful 
prairie. It is there that I saw, for the first time, the rattle- 
snake, whose bite is mortal; none of our party were incom- 
moded by them. 

88 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

The twenty-sixth of July, being all re-united, I celebrated 
mass, which I had deferred until that time, and the next morn- 
ing we started for Michillima, or Missillimakinac, which is a 
station situated between lakes Huron and Michigan. Although 
we had a hundred leagues to travel, the wind was so favorable 
that we arrived in less than six days. We remained there for 
6ome time, in order to repair all damages incurred at the por- 
tages and falls ; while there, I consecrated two flags and buried 
several soldiers who had been carried off by fatigue or sickness. 

The tenth of August we left Michillimackinac, and entered 
lake Michigan. As we had been detained there two days by 
the wind, our savages had had time to take a hunt, in which 
they killed several moose and el£, and they were polite enough 
to offer to share with us. "We made some objections at 
first, but they compelled us to accept their present, saying 
that since we had shared with them the fatigues of the jour- 
ney, it was right that they should share with us the comforts 
which they had found, and that they should not consider 
themselves as men if they acted in a different manner toward 
others. This discourse, which one of our men rendered into 
French for me, affected me very much. A\liat humanity in 
savages! And how many men might be found in Europe to 
whom the title of barbarian might much better be applied than 
to these inhabitants of America. 

The generosity of our savages merited the most lively gTati- 
tude on our part: already for some time not having been 
able to find suitable hunting grounds, we had been compelled 
to eat nothing but bacon; the moose and elk which they gave 
us removed the disgust we began to have for our ordinary fare. 

The fourteenth of the same month we continued our jour- 
ney as far as the Detour de Chicagou, and as we were doubling 
Cap a la Mort, which is about five leagues across, we encoun- 
tered a gust of wind, which drove ashore several canoes that 
were unable to double a point in order to obtain a shelter; 
they were broken by the shock; and we were obliged to dis- 
tribute among the other canoes the men who, by the greatest 
good fortune in the world, had all escaped from the danger. 

18CT] Canadian Documents 89 

The next day we crossed over to the Folles Avoines,* in or- 
der to entice the inhabitants to come and oppose our landing; 
they fell into the trap, and were entirely defeated, f The fol- 
lowing day we camped at the mouth of a river called La Gas- 
parde. Our savages went into the woods, but soon returned 
bringing with them several roebucks. This species of game 
is very common at this place, and we were enabled to lay in 
several days provisions of it. 

About mid-day, on the ITth, we were ordered to halt until 
evening, in order that we might reach the post at the Bay dur- 
irjg the night, as we wished to surprise the enemy, whom we 
knew were staying with their allies, the Saquis, whose village 
lies near Fort St. Francis. At twilight we commenced our 
m^rch, and about midnight we arrived at the mouth of Fox 
Elver, at which point our fort is built. As soon, as we had ar- 
rived there, M. De Lignery sent some Frenchmen to the 
commandant to ascertain if the enemy were really ao the vil- 
lage of the Saquis; and having learned that we ought still to 
find them there, he caused all the savages and a detachment 
of French troops to cross over tl e river, in order to suiTound 
the habitation, and then ordered the rest of our troops to enter 
the village. Notwithstanding the precautions that had been 
taken to conceal our arrival, the savages had received informa- 
tion of it, and all had escaped with the exception of four ; 
these were presented to our savages, who after having divert- 
ed themselves with them, shot them to death Avith their arrows. 

I was much pained to witness this horrible spectacle; and 
the pleasure which our savages took in making those unfortu- 
nate persons suffer,' causing them to undergo the horrors of 
thirty deaths before depriving them of life. I could not make 
this accord with the manner in which they had appeared to 
think some days before. I would willingly have asked them 
if they did not perceive, as I did, this opposition of sentiment, 

•Wild Rice people, or Menomoiieea. 

tin Garneau's History of CuncuJa, translated by Bell, we have this state- 
ment: "The army passed Mirrhilimacinac August let, and that day fortnight, 
reAohed Chicago [Green Bajl] ; and Aug. lith, a body of Folles Avolnes were 
found drawn up in buttle ariaj, on tae lakeboard, having made commoa 
cause with the Outagamies. They were encountered and signally beaten." 

go Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

and have pointed out to them what I saw condenmable in 
their proceedings; but those of our party who might have 
served me as interpreters were on the other side of the river 
and I was obliged to postpone until another time the satisfac- 
tion of my curiosity. 

After this little ooup de main we went up Fox River, which 
is full of rapids, and is about thirty-five or forty leagues in 
length. The 24th of August we aiTived at the village of the 
Puants" much disposed to destroy any inhabitants that might be 
found there; but their flight had preceded our aiTival, and we 
had nothing to do but to bum their wigwams, and ravage their 
fields of Indian com, which is their principal article of food. 

We afterwards crossed over the little Fox Lake, at the end 
of which we camped, and the next day (day of St. Louis), af- 
ter mass, we entered a small river which conducted us into a 
kind of swamp, on the borders of which is situated the grand 
habitation of those of whom we were in search. Their allies, 
the Saquis, doubtless, had informed them of our approach, and 
they did not deem it advisable to wait our arrival, for we found 
in their village ouly a few women, whom our savages made 
their slaves, and one old man, whom they burnt to death at a 
slow fire, without appearing to entertain the least repugnance 
towards committing so barbarous an act. 

This appeared to me a more striking act of cruelty than that 
which had been exercised towards the four savages found in 
the village of the Saquis. I seized upon this occasion ami 
•circumstance to satisfy my curiosity about that concerning 
which I have just been speaking. There was in our company 
a Frenchman who could speak the Iroquois language. I 
untreated him to tell the savages that I was surprised to see 
them take so much pleasure in torturing this unfortunate old 
man — that the rights of war did not extend so far, and that so 
barbarous an action appeared to me to be in direct opposition 
to the principles which they had professed to entertain towards 
all men. I was answered by an Iroquois, who in order to 
justify his companions, said, that when they fell into the hands 




Canadian Documents 


of the Foxes and Saquis, thej were treated with still greater 
cruelty, and that it was their custom to treat their enemies in 
the same manner that they would be treated by them if they 
were vanquished. ^ * * 

I was about to give him some further reasons, when orders 
were given to advance upon the last stronghold of the enemy. 
This post is situated upon the borders of a small river which 
empties into another called the Ouisconsin, which latter dis- 
charges itself into the Mississippi, about thirty leagues from 
there. We found no person there, and as we had no orders to 
go . any farther, we employed ourselves several days in destroy- 
ing the fields, in order to deprive the enemy of the means of 
subsisting there.'-'" The country here is beautiful, the soil is 
fertile, the game plenty and of very fine flavor ; the nights are 
very cold, and the days extremely warm. In my next letter 
1 will speak to you about my return to Montreal, and of all 
that has happened to me up to the time of my embarking for 
France. * * * 

Your affectionate brother, 

Emaxuel Ceespel^ Iiecollet.'\ 

Gen. Smith adds this comment in a note: ''Xot being aware 
of any historical notice of this expedition, I w^as at first doubt- 
ful of the truth of the relation; but through the kindness of 
Governor Cass, I have obtained a full corroboration of the facts 
of which Crespel speaks, in an abstract of an official report, 
procured from the French archives. It is somewhat singular 
to observe Crespers remark on the ^precautions taken by a 
body of nearly fifteen hundred men sailing in canoes, and 
marching 450 leagues, to surprise a tribe of Indians; and it id 
equally amusing to see what a horror he has at the instances 
of cruelty in Indian warfare, and at the same time the cool- 
ness with which he describes the titter destruction of the vil- 
lages and corn fields of the absent Foxes.'^ 

**'Neltlior the Outaqamles nor their allies," says Garneau, "were any where 
to be found, although the Canadians ascended Fox River, following their 
track to its sources, and within thirty leajfues of the Mississippi, burning 
every horde, hut and plantation they found in th« way." L. C. D. 

tA monk of a reformed order of Franciscan Brothers — pious laymen who 
<3evole Ihemsolvca to educational and other useful lalx>rs. L. C. D. 

92 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 


[From Messrs. De Beauharnois and De Argemait, 1st September, 1728. 
to the French Minister of War.] 

It having been signified to them that his Majesty wished that 
thej had awaited his orders before commencing this under- 
taking: They answer, that the information which they 
received from every quarter, of the secret wampums which, 
the English had sent among the nations of the Upper Country, 
to cut the throats of the French in all the posts, and the war 
parties which the Foxes were raising every day, did not 
allo^v them to defer this expedition for a year, without 
endangering the loss of all the posts in the Upper Country. 

They learned with regret that the Foxes had fled before the 
army had arrived in their country. They will do all they can 
to prevent any results from this, and will attentively observe 
all the movements which any of those nations who could 
enter into the interests of the Foxes might make, so as to pre- 
vent any sui-prise. 

The Marquis De Beauharnois, by a private letter of the 
same day, sends the instructions which he had given to M. De 
Lignery for this expedition, and the letter which this officer 
entreated to enclose in his despatches, and by which he 
attempts to justify himself. This letter states, that he made 
use of all his skill to succeed in. the expedition; but it was 
impossible for him to surprise the enemy, not being able to 
conceal from them, any further than the Bay, the knowledge 
of his march. 

He took at this post, before day-break, three Puants of the 
Foxes, and one Fox, who were discovered by some Sakis 
whom, he had brought from Mackinac. These four savages 
were bound and sent to the tribes, who put them to death the 
next day. He afterwards continued his march, composed of 
1,000 savages and 450 French,* as far as the village of the 

•Garaeau says the force consisted of 450 French and 750 Indians; Crespel 
S8ys'40C-" French and 800 or !J0O Indians. C. D. 


Canadian Documents 


Puants, and afterwards to the Foxes. They all fled as soon 
as they heard that were at the Bay, of which they were 
informed by some of their own people, who escaped by swim- 
ming. They captured, however, in the four Fox villages, two 
women, a girl and an old man, who were killed and burnt. 
He learnt from them that the tribe had fled four days before; it had a collection of canoes, in which the old men, the 
women and children had embarked, and that the warriors had 
g(.ne by land: He urged the other tribes to follow in pur- 
suit of them, but there was only a portion of them who would 
consent, the others saying the enemy had got too far for them 
to be able to catch up with them. The French had nothing 
but Indian corn to eat, and this, added to the advanced sea- 
son, and a march of 400 leagues on their return, by which the 
safety of half the army was endangered, decided them upon 
burning the four Fox villages, their forts and their huts, to 
destroy all that they could find in their fields — Indian com, 
peas, beans and gourds, of which they had great abundance. 
They did the same execution among the Puants. It is cer- 
tain that half of these nations, who number 4,000 souls, wiU 
die with hunger, and that they will come in and ask mercy. 
Major De Cavagnal, who has been in the whole expedition, 
and has perfectly performed his duty, is able to certify to all 

In returning, having passed by a fort of the Sakis, these 
savages told him in a council of our tribes, that they no 
longer wished to stay with them, for fear of the Foxes, and they 
^vere going to retire to the Kiver St. Joseph. It was impos- 
sible to re-assure them, which obliged him, seeing this post 
abandoned, to burn the fort, lest the Foxes or their allies 
should take possession of it, fortify themselves, and make war 
iipon our nearest allies, the Folles Avoines. 

In a second letter of M. Beauharnois, of the 8th of Sep- 
teml^er, 1728, he states that neither the glory nor the arms of 
^he King were at all interested in this expedition, the Foxes 
having abandoned every thing, and retired to the Ajoues."^ 

-94 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

All the army attribute the failure to M. De Lignerj's stay 
at Mackinac, which was considerable. But the climax was, 
tliat a Potowatamy, who had come to the army with four 
others, three of whom did not appear, w^as sent back to his 
comrades by M. De Lignery to say, that he had come to talk 
with the tribes, and even with the Foxes, who were onlv two 
days distant. This savage warned the latter of all he had 
seen in the army, and instantly they prepared to take flight. 
The French and savages wished to march upon them, but M. 
De Lig-nery would not hasten his departure, under the idea 
that the Potowatamy woidd return. The murmur was very- 
general against him in the army. The savages in their speeches 
have not spared him, and have asserted that the people fromi 
the Upper Country ought to come in the spring and state their 
complaints to him. 

M. De Lignery performed another manoeuver on his return 
to the Bay, which no one could understand. Because the 
Sakis said they were afraid of the Foxes, and that they wished 
to establish themselves at the River St. Joseph, without well 
examining the consequences of the step he was taking, he de- 
cided upon destroying the fort, though he had people and ammu- 
nition, and could wait for orders until the next year ; and surely 
the Salvis would not have left, and not have dared to do so. 

In this business M. De Lignery was the man in power in 
all the Colony, and French and savages would have marched 
under his orders with great pleasure. M. De Beauharnois is 
sorry to be obliged to state things as they are, but there will 
bo many letters which will say the same thing, and he thinks 
it better that Monseigneur should know the truth of the 
matter. He might add, that they say that M. De Lignery 
was ill, and that he did not wish that any other should reap 
any glory from the undertaking. M. De Beaujeu, who was 
second in conmiand, would have admirably acquitted himself. 
Messrs. De Artagnal, Du Buisson and all the other officers, 
would have desired nothing better than to have gone ahead. 
Every one wished it, but M. De Lignery wwld not listen to 
any representations. 

1867J Canadian Documents 95 

The following marginal notes are appended to the above 
paper : 

De Lignery allows the Foxes to escape." 
''It is to be regretted, that the enterprise did not have the 
6uc<?ess which was expected from it, both from the expense of 
itj and from the consequences it might have had. It is certain, 
that M. De Beanharnois took all possible measures that it 
ehould have no evil results. There is every reason to believe, 
that the Foxes, who suffered much from the destruction of 
their villages and plantations, will ask for peace, and that is 
extremely to be desired." 


The gates of mercy shall be all shut up ; 

And the flesh'd soldier — rough and hard of heart — 

In liberty of bloody hand, shall range 

With conscience wide as hell ; mowing lil^e grass 

Your fresh fair virgins, and your flowering infants. — Henby V. 

La Butte Des Morts is, as its name implies, a little hill at 
the confluence of the Fox and Wolf rivers, and in the angle 
between them. From its summit, the voyager may have a 
view of the Lake of Graise d'Ours to the east, and of a long 
reach of the Fox River, and many a rood of fat prairie land to 
the westward. When he is tired of beholding the prospect, he 
may descend to the water side, and amuse himself by shooting 
at the blue-winged teal, the most delicious of the feathered 
creation, as they fly past him in myriads. He will do well not 
to fire if they fly high, for they are fattened on the wild rice 
of the river, and usually burst open on falling. Or, if he is 
given to moralizing, he may go to the field between the hill 

*By William J. Snelling. 

and the woods, and speculate on the bones that have been 
whitening there for more than the age of man. 

"There the slow blind worm leaves his slime 
On the fleet limbs that mock'd at time. 
The knot-grass fetters there the hand 
That once could burst an iron band." 

The last time the author was on the spot, a pit had just 
been dug on the top of the hillock, and in it were put, with 
shrieks and howling, the remains of a noted Winnebago 
brave, whose war cry had been heard at Tippecanoe and the 
battle of the Thames. At the head of the grave was planted 
a cedar post, on which the rude heraldry of the natives had 
emblazoned the rank and achievements of the deceased. 
Three black emblems represented three American scalps. Let 
us be forgiven, reader, for dwelling on the place. Silent and 
solitary as it now is, it is the scene of events that mayhap it 
will please thee to hear related. Alas ! that strife and 
slaughter, and the extermination of a native tribe, should be 
pleasant things for us to wTite, or for thee to read. 

About the year seventeen hundred and twenty-five, the 
principal village of the Saque nation stood on the Butte Des 
Morts. Here the Saqiies were accustomed to stop traders 
passing into the Indian country, and to exact from them a 
tribute — as the Winnebagoes have since done.* The traders 
submitted with reluctance, but there was no help. At last, 

*We leai-n from Schoolcraft's History of the Indian Tribes, III, 279, that 
the V/innebagoes evinced some insolence towards the Americans during the 
years immediately succeeding the war of 1812-15 ; that Hoo-Choop or Four 
Legs, a stern chief at the outiet of Vv'inaoba;?o Luke, assumed to be the keeper 
of the Fox River Valley, and levied tribute, in some cases, for the privilege 
of ascent. 

Col. T. L. il'Kenney thus alludes to this Winnebago custom of exacting 
tribute : Four Legs, a fine looking chief, occupied, with his village, the 
tongue of land which runs out between Winnebago Lake, on the one side, and 
Fox River on the other. When Gen. Leavenworth, some years previous to 
1827, was ascending the Fox River with troops, on his way to the Mississippi, 
on arriving at 'this pass. Four Legs came out, dressed in all his gewgaws and 
feathers, and painted after the most approved fashion, and announced to the 
General that he could not go through ; '-the Lake," said he, '-is locked." 
"Tell him," said he General, rising in his batteaux, with a rifle in his hand, 
•that THIS IS THE KKY, and I shall unlock it and go on/ The chief had a 
good deal of the better part of valor in his composition, and so he replied, -Very 
well, tell him he can go.' " 

Ne-o-kau-tah, or Four Lefjs, has his village at the outlet of Winnebago Lake. 
He served under the British during the war of 1S12-'13, figuring at Tort 
Meigs, Sandusky, and on McKay's expedition to Prairie du Chien. He was 
an active and influential Winnebago Chief, and a very worthy man: but like 
most of the Red Race he dearly loved fire-water, and indulging too freely, he 
fell a victim to it in a drunken debauch at the Wisconsin Portage, In ISJO. 
Mrs. Kinzie relates the particulars of his death and funeral observances, nbout 
his Fox wife, and gives an interesting account of his adroit management to 
marry off a very Hecate of a daughter for ugliness to the late John H. 
Kinzie. then in the emnlov of the American Fur Company at Prairie du Chieu. 


Canadian Documents 


emboldened by impunity, the savages increased their demands, 
so that a total cessation of trade was likely to ensue, and bick- 
erings arose between the plunderers and the plundered. In 
the autumn of seventeen hundred and twenty-four, a hot- 
headed young Canadian trader refused to pay the customary 
tribute, and severely wounded a Saque who attempted to take 
it forcibly. He was instantly shot dead and scalped, and his 
, boar was pillaged. Some accounts say, that his men were 
killed too, but this part of the story, though probable, is not 
certain. As no notice of the affair was taken that winter by 
the authorities commissioned by the Grand Monarque, the 
insolence of the Sauks increased gTeatly, and they imagined 
in their ignorance that the French stood in fear of them. But 
in this they reckoned without their host, or rather without 
Jean St. Denis Moran. 

The Sieur Moran, a man of a decided and energetic char- 
acter, held an office in the French Indian Department. He 
was, moreover, an old campaigner and had been at Fried- 
lingen and Malplaquet. When tidings of what had happened 
were communicated to him at Quebec, his mustacios twisted 
upward for very anger, and he swore, Sachristie! and Mort de 
sa vie! that the Saques should repent their presumption. In 
order to the fulfillment of this laudable vow, he demanded of 
ti e conimaii.ding officer at Quebec that three hundred regulars 
should be placed at his disposal, and the request was granted.* 
With these troops he proceeded to Michilmacinac, where he 
remained till the first of October, to mature his plans. 

Here he caused eight or ten Mackinaw boats to be construct- 
ed. For fear that some of our readers may not know what a 
Mackinaw boat is, we will try to inform him. It is a large, 
strong built, flat bottomed boat, pointed at both ends, and pe- 

•Whlle we feel disposed to give some credlf to this narrative, or that part 
of it relating to the causes and movements of Marin against the Foxes — i dying 
upon it, as a tradition, so far as it may be corroborated by other sources o£ 
information,' and so far as it may accord with probability, yet it Is quite appar- 
ent that the writer has drawn somewhat upon his imagination for supposed 
facts with which to connect the several parts of the story. The date assigned 
to the expedition, the Christian name of Marin, his military services In the 
Low Countries, the tidings of the Indian exactions reaching him at Que!)ec, and 
there securing 300 regulars with whom to chastise the insolent savages, must, 
■we think, be regarded of this character. L. C. D. 

98 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

culiarlj adapted to the Indian trade, in which it is often neces- 
sary to ascend and descend dangerous rapids. It is always 
furnished wdth a parlas, or sheet of painted canvass, large 
enough to protect the lading from the weather. But this equi- 
page was never used for the purpose for which the Sieur Mo- 
ran designed it, before nor since. 

Purtherniore, he provided many kegs of French brandy, and 
all things being in readiness, proceeded from island to island 
across the head of Lake Michigan to Green Bay. Here he 
might have speculated on the phenomenon of a tide in the fresh 
water, as Mt, Schoolcraft and other learned philosophers 
have done; but different matters occupied his mind. He en- 
camped, and sent a messenger to the Hillock of the Dead to 
require the instant surrender of all persons concerned in the 
late breach of the peace, as well as reparation for all robberies 
and injuries committed by the offending tribe. The Saque 
Chief laughed the message to scorn. ^TeU our father,' said 
he, ^that the Saques are men. Tell him, too, that even if he 
should in earnest be disposed to punish his children, they have 
legs to take them out of the way, if he should prove too hard 
for them.' Having made this lofty speech, he looked round 
with much seK-complacency, and when the concurrence of the 
audience had been signified, he added, 'I am a wise man.' 
Had he foreseen the consequences of his words, it is probable 
his opinion of his own wisdom would have suffered some dim- 
inution. He smoked a pipe with the disconcerted envoy, gave 
him to eat, and desired him to make the best of his way back 
to whence he came. 

On receiving this answer, M. Moran convened a band of 
Monomonees that had encamped in the vicinity, and whose 
chief, unless tradition deceives us, was called Aus-kin-naw- 
waw-witsh. To him the old soldier communicated his inten- 
tion of bringing the Saques to condign punishment, and re- 
quested his assistance. 'Father,' replied Aus-kin-naw-waw^- 
witsh, Svhat you say is good. You are a wise man. We 
have wished to see you a great while, because we are very 
poor, and we know that you are rich. We have few guns, and 


Canadian Documents 

no ammunitioii or tobacco, and our women have no clothing. 
Above all, we want a little of your milJc^' to make ns weep for 
-our deceased relations.f S'o a kind father will give us all 
these things. But wisdom requires that we should deliberate 
on your proposal. Father, a little of your milk will brighten 
our understandings.' And to all these sayings the inferior 
ALonomonees assented vdtk a grunt, or groan of applause, for 
it might be called either. 

M. Moran was obliged to acknowledge the justice of these 
axioms. He supplied the immediate wants of the savages, and 
gave them a keg of brandy. The consequence was a frightful 
riot of three days' duration, in which three of the intended al- 
lies were slain. Aus-kin-naw-waw-vdtsh required a further 
delay of three days ''to cry for the slain;" and he even sug- 
gested that a little more milk would make the tears flow faster 
and more readily. To this hint, M. Moran returned a per- 
emptory refusal. In the meanwhile, the crafty Monomonee 
R^it to the Saques a warning of their danger; but they per- 
sisted iu believing that they would not be attacked, and that 
I hoy should be able to defend themselves if they were. 

After tlie mourning had terminated, Aus-kin-naw-waw- 
witsh announced the result of his deliberations. 'If my 
father,' said he, Svill give us the land the Saques now live 
upon, and if he will make us a handsome present, and if he 
will give us more of his milk^ we will assist him.' To all 
which postulates the Sieur Moran agreed, only stipulating 
that the payment should take place after the work was done. 

M. Moran told the Monomonees that he should want them 

•Ardent spirits. 

tThe Sioux or Dahcotahs sometimes bury their dead, but more frequently 
expose them on scaffolds, or in the branches of trees. In the latter case, it la 
said that the bones are afterwards interred, we believe without truth, never 
having witnessed it. The arms, &e., of a warrior, are buried or exposed with 
him. Formerly a horse was sacrificed, that the deceased might reach bis 
future place of abode on horseback. In old times, prisoners were put to 
death also, ^ that the deceased might not want slaves in the next world. The 
Winnebagoes have observed this rite within the remembrance of many pernons 
now living. When the corpse of a female is disposed of, her implements of 
labor accqmpany it. The men mourn for their dead relations by wounding 
their arms blackening their faces, &c. The women cut their limbs with 
flints and knives. We have known mortification to take place in consequence 
of the severity of these self-imposed afflictions. In one Instance, we have seen 
death ensue. The demonstration of grief is never so energetic as when stimu- 
lated by the use of ardent spirits. The mourning is renewed at every re- 
currence of intoxication, and they oftea beg for whisky "to make them cry." 

W. J. S. 


lOO Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

after two sleeps,^ and dismissed them. Then he loaded one 
of his boats with merchandize, not forgetting a goodly quan- 
tity of brandy, and gave her in charge to a non-commissioned 
ojQficer and four Canadian boatmen. They received his in- 
structions to ascend the river to the Butte Des Morts, and 
there suffer the boat to be pillaged without resistance or re- 
monstrance-. They were then to proceed a few miles farther, 
encamp, and wait for further orders. His orders were obeyed 
to the letter. The Saques plundered the boat, and, drinking 
ih.e brandy, were soon in no condition for attack or defence. 

Now was the time for Moran to act, and fearfully did he 
avail himself of it. A mile below the Hillock of the Dead, 
and on the same side of the river, is a stream, just wide enough 
to allow a Mackinaw boat to enter a few rods. To this the 
Sieur Moran succeeded in getting, at noon, the day after his 
advanced boat had passed. Here, out of Light of the village, 
he landed his Monomonees and half of his soldiers. He 
ordered them to gain the woods in the rear of the Saques, and 
there wait till the firing commenced in front. When sufficient 
time had elapsed for his orders to be obeyed, the remaining 
troops, crouched in the bottoms of the boats, with their arms 
ready, and were covered with the canvass before mentioned. 
This done, he put off, and the crews, disguised like boatmen, 
rowed up the river, singing this ditty, which is still popular in 
the ]^orth-West: 

Tous les printemps, 
Tant de nouvelles, 
Tous les amaats 
Changent de maitresses. 
Le bon vin m'endort ; 
L'amour me reveille. 

Tous les amants 
Changent de maitresses. 
Qu'lls changent qui voudront. 
Pour me garde la mienne. 
Le bon vin m'endort ; 
L'amour me reveille.t 

•The Indians compute time, and distance in traveling, by the number of 

" me^'eade^is indebted to Mrs. Mary A. Krum, of Madison, for the follow- 
ing happy rendering of this ancient voyag^ur's song into English versification: 

Each returning spring-time 

Brings so much that's new. 


Canadian Documents 


They were soon within ken of the village. The Saques not 
expecting the entertainment prepared for them, rejoiced at the 
sight. They Avere all drunk, or, at least, suffering the effects 
of intoxication. ''Here come the traders to supply us with 
fire-water and blankets," they said to each other; "let us make, 
haste to the spoil." The women screamed with delight, the 
children bawled in concert, and the host of the dogs added to 
the uproar. Young and old hurried to the water side. 

As the foremost boat came opposite to the crowd of dark 
forms on shore, a dozen balls were fired athwart her course. 
!N'one struck her, but the prox:imity was sufficiently intimate to 
show til at lier farther progress would be attended with dan- 
ger.* '^Scie, scie partout,^^ cried the frightened steersman, and 
the rowers backed water simultaneously. M. Moran rose, and 
commanded the interpreter to ask what they wanted? ^'SJcoo- 
tay waivho! sl-ootay zt'at6'5a/^^ (fire-water), shouted five hundred 
voices. "Shore," said ^loran, and as the other boats were now 
along side, they all touched the gTound together. 

"I let you all know, that if you touch any thing in the 
boats, you will be sorry for it," cried the interpreter. But an 
hundred hands were already dragging them farther aground, 
and his voice was drowned by the clamor. "Help ! help ! 
thieves ! thieves I" cried Moran. in full deep tone. At once 
the coverings were thrown off', and an hundred and fifty 
soldiers were brought to view, as if by the spell of an 
enchanter. "Fire!" cried Moran. The muskets flashed, 
and twenty Saques fell dead where they stood. To the poor 
misguided savages, the number of their enemies seemed 
treble the reality. They fled precipitately to their village to 
prepare for defence. Two minutes sufficed for the troops to 
form and pursue. 

All the fickle lovers 

Changing sweet-hearts too. 
The good wine soothes and gives me rest, 
While love Inspires and fills my breast. 

All the fickle lovers 
Changing sweet-hearta still, 
I'll keep mine forever, 
Those may change who will. 
The good wine soothes and gives me rest, 
While love inspires and fills my breast. 
•Firing across a boat with bail, is the Indian way of bringing her to. 

102 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

The Saques found at tlieir lodges another and more terrible 
enemy than the French. A Monomonee had entered the place 
unsuspected, and set it on fire on the windward side.* The 
wind was high, and in a few moments the frail bark dwellings 
were wrapped in a sheet of flame. The Saques then retreated 
towards the woods in the rear, one and all. 'Ere they were 
reached, Moran's reserve met them, and they were placed 
between two fires. Then burst forth one heart-rendino-, a<^on- 
ized shriek; and the devoted Saques prepared to defend them- 
selves with the courage of despair. Ball and bayonet now 
began their bloody work. The victims were hemmed in on 
every side. The Monomonees precluded the possibility of 
escape on the flanks, and the knife and glittering tomahawk 
cut off what the sword had spared. The inhabitants of the 
village fought with unshrinking courage. Few asked quarter; 
none received it. They perished, man, Vv^oman and child. The 
horrors of the dreadful tragedy may not be repeated, yet, in 
less than an hour it had been enacted, and the actors were 
gone. A heap of smoking ruins, and a few houseless dogs, 
howling after the dead bodies of their masters, were the 
only objects the sad hillock presented. But five Saque 
families, that had been absent at the time, survived the 
slaughter — the poor remains of what had been a considerable 
tribe. They left their country, and emigrated to the Missis- 
sippi, where they incorporated with the Foxes, and where their 
descendants remain to this day.f 

•The summer or permanent villages of the Northwestern Aborigines are 
built of bark, and may, therefore, be easily fired. W. J. S. 

tParkman, in his Histor;/ of the Conspiracy of Pontiac, a work of great 
merit, states that he found on a tattered scrap, amoung the McDougal manu 
scripts — preserved by a son of Lieut. ^rcDougaU who was captured by the 
Indians ir the Pontiac war, in 1TG.3 — the following: "Five miles below the 
mouth of Wolf river is the Great Death Ground. This took its name from the 
circumstance, that some years before the old French war, a great battle was 
fought between the French troops, assisted by the Monomonees and Ottaways, 
on the one side, and the Sac and Fox Indians on the other. The Saca and Foxes 
were nearly all cut off, and this proved the cause of their eventful expulsion 
from the country." 

Schoolcraft, in his Discourse before the Michigan Historical Society, says 
the Foxes "concentrated their remaining force at Green Bay, where they formeti 
a close alliance with the Sauks. and for a v/hile sustained themselves. But they 
were pursued by the French, with the aid of the Chippewas and Monomonees, 
and were beaten in two sanguinary, battles on the St. Croix and Fox rivers, fled 
to the Wisconsin, and Anally sought refuge west of the Mississippi." 

McKenney. in his Mcmr^rs ftiitj T'yntely. speaking of the Great and 
Little Butte des Morts says : "All the mounds that I have seen, that are 
conical In form, as are those of two hills of the dead, are full of tli* 
boncB of men. I sought of aged Indians [in 1827] their tradition In 



Canadian Documents 

It is due to Sieur Moran to say, tliat lie did all he might 
to mitigate the fate of his victims. But his voice was exerted 
in vain. Victorious troops are seldom merciful in the field, 
and the Monomonees would not be restrained. There was no 
room for rapine, for there was nothing to take; but lust, and 
red-handed murder, stalked openly over the Butte Des Morts 
on that day. From this carnage of the Saques, it derived its 

That evening, Aus-kin-naw-waw-witsh appeared before 
the Sieur Moran, and demanded the promised recompense. 
'*Let what you have seen be a warning to you," said the 
leader; "If your people, now masters of the soil, offend in. 
the same sort, be assured they shall drink of the same cup that 
the Saques have drained." 

ed that a long time ago a battle was fought, first upon the spot which is Le 
Petit Butte Des Morts and the grounds adjacent, and continued upon that and 
the surrounding country, upon which is found Le Grand Butte Des Morts, be- 
tween the Iroquois and Fox Indians, in which the Iroquois were victorious, 
killing an immense number of the Foxes at Le Petit Butte des Morts ; when, 
being beaten^ the Foxes retreated, but rallied at Le Grand Butte Des Morts, and 
fought until they were nearly all slain. Those who survived fled to the Mis- 

For the sake of preserving the fact in this connection, we may cite from a 
speech made by Pontiac, the great Ottawa chief, in 1763 : "Remember the war 
with the Foxes, and the part which I took in it. It is now seventeen years 
since the Ojibwas of Michillimackinac, combined with the Sacs and Foxes, came 
down to destroy you. Who then defended you? Was it not I and my young 
men? Mickinac, a crreat chief of all these nations said in council, that he 
would carry to his village the head of your commandant [at Detroit] — that he 
would eat his heart, and drink his blood. Did I not take your part? Did I 
not go to his camp, and say to him, that if he wished to kill the French, he 
must first kill me and my warriors? Did I not assist you in routing them, and 
driving them away?" 

This reference of Pontiac's would point to the year 1746 as a period of a war 
on the part of the Foxes and Chippewns n gainst the French, apparently in the 
Detroit region. If such a war occurred at that period, we have no particulars 
of it. It is possible that Pontiac may have erred as to the date, and may have 
personated himself, as Indians frequently do, as simply representing his nation. 
But it is quite probable, however, that he referred to a real outbreak at the time 
he mentioned. Hon. M. L- Martin, ia his Address delivered before the Wis/ 
Hist. Society in ISol, alludes generally to "the engagements in which the 
Foxes were defeated at Butte Des Morts, and on the Wisconsin river, and 
finally driven beyond the Mississippi, leaving the entire country in 1746 in the 
possession of the French and their allies, the Chlppewas, Monomonees, Wln- 
nebagoes and Pottawatomies." And Gen. Smith (Hist. Wis., i, 343) alludes 
vaguely to "a war, under 'Mackinac the Turtle' against the Fr-^noh, in 1746." 
Yet these references, it must be confessed, are obscure and uncertai'ii. L. C. D. 

I04 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 


[Report of M. De Beauharnois, May 6th, 1730, of an expedition against 
the Foxes, made by the Cutaouaes, Sauteux, Folles-Avoines and 

My Lord: I have the honor to communicate to you the 
favorable news I have received this winter, through different 
letters of officers who command in the Upper Country. 

A party of over two himdred Indians, Cutaouaes, Sauteux, 
Folles-Avoines and Puants,* fell on the Foxes, surprised and 
destroyed twenty flat boats of this nation who were returning 
from a buffalo hunt, containing eighty men, who were all kill- 
ed or burned, except three — the allied Indians having burned 
the boats, three hundred women and children shared the same 

I have the honor, my Lord, to communicate this news, with 
sf* much the more pleasure, as there is no doubt existing on 
the subject, circumstances and letters received by me from all 
parts, which do not contradict themselves concerning this affair 
corroborate the fact. It is also confirmed by the journey taken 
since this last adventure by the Great Chief of the Foxes to 
the river St. Joseph, and by the message he brought to Sieur 
De Villiers, commanding at that place, the tenor of which 
is as follows: 

"My father, I look upon myself now as dead; my heart is 
quaking, and it is not without a cause. I have, however, to- 
day, more influence over my young men than I had heretofore, 
and they seem to be also more attentive to my words. I know 

•Ottawas, Sauters or Chippeways, Monomonees and Winnebagoes. L. C. D. 

tThis could hardly have been one of Sieur Marin's expeditions against the 
devoted Foxes, or his name would most likely have been mentioned in connec- 
tion with it. This affair occurred, we should judge, in the autumn of 1729, 
while the streams were yet navigable and the news of which De Beauharnois 
received at Quebec during the following winter. The next official letter, 
written seven weeks later, gives a reference to Marin's expedition as having 
occurred in March, 1730 — thus rendering it certain that the defeat of the 
Foxes returning in boats from a buffalo hunt, and Marin's enterprise against 
them, were two different affairs. C. D. 

i«67] Canadian Documents 105 

the good heart of my father Onontio,* and I intend to go 
down to Montreal next spring to see him, and crave for mercy 
— death for death; for I prefer trusting to the goodness of my 
father, exposing myself to the lisks of being killed on the way, 
rather than to be killed in my own village. I have thought 
tliat if I [my people] have been killed, it has only been done 
after repeated warnings to us to preserve peace.'' 

Although, my Lord, these sentiments may appear to proceed 
from a nation truly repentant and submissive, I shall yet keep 
good watch. It is very certain, that the continued war waged 
against them by the nations with whom they were formerly 
at peace, should teach them, that it only proceeds from their 
rupture with the French, and that they will not be left quiet 
until they have made their peace with us. I will add, that 
the impression made by our army on the minds of our Indian 
allies, leads me to think that they will always maintain them- 
selves in our interest and continue to follow up the blow with, 
which they have struck the Foxes, as long as they know them 
to be embroiled with the French. 

I am to a certain extent convinced of the fact, through, our 
Indians, who in this last affair only acted according to the so- 
licitation I made of them, to destroy the Foxes, and not to 
suffer on this earth a demon capable of confounding or oppos- 
ing our friendly alliance. They seem to have acted upon these 
principles, by which I am inclined to think, that if I pursue 
the same course, they vdll continue to act as they have done 

These reasons, my Lord, cause me to judge, that if the sub- 
mission of the Foxes is not sincere, they are at least constramed 
to it by necessity; besides, I will see what they will say to me 
when they come down to Montreal; and, on that occasion, I 
will be veiy careful not to grant them any thing, except on 
very advantageous conditions, and meanwhile I ^iU see that 
all their actions be carefully watched. I postpone, my Lord, 
until the coming autiman, to inform you of the results of this 

•The title by which the French Governor of Canada was known to th* 
Indian nations. ^- ^* 

io6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

affair, hj which I feel confident of the success with which I 
had flattered myself; and there is some appearance that our 
allied nations, who have lost ten or twelve men in this last ex- 
pedition, have made since some other attempt on the Foxes to 
avenge themselves. 

I have the honor to he, with great respect, my Lord, your 
Tery humble and obedient servant, 

Signed, Beauhaenois. 
At Quebec, May 6th, 1730. 


[The Marquis De Beauharnois' letter to the Minister, June 25th, 1730, 
relative to a new expedition against the Foxes.] 

My Loed: The Sieur Du Buisson, who commands at Mis- 
silimakinac, has dispatched to me a canoe from there with ad- 
vice that all the nations of the Upper Country were very much 
excited against the Foxes; that a considerable body of Indians 
had collected, and requested him to place himself at their 
head, to fall upon this nation and destroy it entirely. 

He states that he thought best not to refuse, inasmuch as 
their proposition tended towards the peace of the Colony, and 
that it was very necessary to take this step to over awe the In- 
dians and cut short their remarks against the French, concern- 
ing our little success in the last campaign against the Foxes. 
This ojfficer, my Lord, must have left his post the 20th of last 
May, with six hundred men, amon^j whom, are fifty French- 

I have the honor to send you here annexed the extract of a 
letter written to me by the Sieur Marin, who commanded at 
the Folles Avoines, concerning the movement he made last 
March against the Foxes, with the Indians of this post, through 

•We have, unfortunately, no further account of this expedition of Du Buls- 
son's, of May, 1730. C. D. 


Canadian Documents 


their solicitation, as jou will see, my Lord, in the details of 
this adventure or action which was of the warmest character 
and very well supported. 

This officer informs me that he was present at the council 
held at Missilimakinac, when the Indians invited ^Monsieur Du 
Buisson to place himself at their head, and that a few of the 
FoUe^Avoines, who were there also, presented to him the 
tomahawk, (as it is customary on similar occasions) to invite 
him to be one of the expedition. Sieur ^larin must have gone 
with the Sieur Du Buisson. I expect news from their expe- 
dition before the last of July, of which I will have the honor 
to inform you immediately. 

I have also the honor of being, with very great respect, my 
Lord, your very humble and obedient servant, 

Signed. Beauhaexois. 
At MoNTEEAi., this 25th day of June, 1730. 


[Messrs. De Beauharnois and Hocquart's letter to the Minister, Novem- 
ber 2, 1730, relating to the defeat of the Foxes.] 

My Loed: The Sieur Coulon DeVilliers, son o£ the 
Sieur DeVilliers commanding at the Kiver St. JosepKs, has 
just this moment arrived, dispatched by his father to bring us 
the interesting news of the almost total defeat of the Foxes; 
two hundred of their warriors have been killed on the spot, or 
burned after having been taken as slaves, and six hundred 
"Women and children were absolutely destroyed. 

This affair took place in September, under the command of 
the Sieur DeVilliers, to whom were united the Sieur De- 
^s'oyelle, commanding the Miamis, and the Sieur De St. 
Ange, father and son, from the government of Louisiana, with 
the French of that distant Colony, together with those of our 
posts and all the neighboring Indians, our allies; we num- 

io8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

bered from twelve to thirteen hundred men. The Marquis De 
Beauhamois will have, My Lord, the honor to send you a 
description of this action by the Sieur Le Pevre's vessel, 
which will sail in about eight or ten days.* 

We risk this letter by a vessel going to Martinique, which 
may pass at the Isle Royal. It was on the point of starting 
when we learned this news. 

This is a brilliant action, which sheds great honor on Sieur 
DeVilliers, who, through it, may flatter himseK as having 
some share in your friendship, and the honor of your protec- 
tection in the promotion which is to take place. 

Signed: . 

Beatjhaenois^ and 


Historical Notices 

Of De Lotjvigxy, Pekrot, De Ligxeey, De Beau jeu, Maeix, 
Du Buisso2«-, De Vileiees, De Noyeele, and St. Ange. 

By Lyman C. Draper 

Louis De La Porte, Sieur De Louvigny, was a native of 
Prance, and bred to arms in both the land and marine service. 
He entered the service in Canada as early as 1682 ; he was seni 
to command at Mackinaw, in May, 1609, and made a heroic 
attack on a party of the Iroquois Indians on the way, signally 
defeating them. He remained in that command four years, 
rendering good service, and managing the Indians of the 
North West with great success. In 1694, he was recalled 
from that command, and, during the winter of 1695-^96, he 
headed a picked body of 300 French and Indians on an 

•This vessel was wrecked, and the despatches were returned to Messrs. 
Beauharnois and Hocquart ; "among the rest, those regarding the last deteat 
of the Foxes."-See letter October 1, 1731, Vol. IX, N. Y. Colonial History, 
moo L- C. D. 

1867] Canadian Documents 109 

expedition from Canada against the Iroquois, but owing to the 
great depth of the snow, which fell in some places seven feet 
deep, and the severity of the weather, they proceeded only a 
few leagues beyond Fort Frontenac, and returned in March 
with a few captives. During the campaign of 1696, he was 
among the most active of Count De Front-enac's partisan lead- 
ers. In I^'ovember, 1697, he was placed at the head of 500 
men to proceed against the Mohawks, but a heavy fall of snow 
prevented the execution of the plan. In the fall of 1699, he 
was placed in command of Fort Frontenac, but was recalled 
the following spring, for trading, as was alleged, in peltries, 
contrary to orders, and imprisoned in consequence. 

iTotwithstanding this error — ^perhaps of the head rather 
than the heart — the Sieur De LouVigny still retained the con- 
fidence of his superiors, and we find him, in 1701, promoted 
to the position of Major of the Three Elvers, and two years 
later Major of Quebec. He proposed, in 1703, to carry on 
an expedition against the Indians beyond Lake Superior; and 
was, in 1705, sent on a mission to Mackinaw to recover some 
Iroquois prisoners captured by the Indians of the Upper Lake 
country. We find him, in 1709, attending a council of war 
in Quebec; and the following year, greatly mortified that he 
had been neglected in the King^s promotions; and Gov. Vau- 
dreuil, evidently to assuage his feelings, testified to his merits, 
and suggested his appointment to the chief command of ^^lacki- 
naw^ with the Sieur De Lignery to serve under him. While 
it is not so apparent that his appointment was made, it never- 
theless shows the high regard entertained for him by the Gov- 
ernor of the Province; and early in 1716, we find him in com- 
mand of a large force, evidently marching from Mackinaw, 
against the hostile Sauks and Foxes, and De Louvigny's offi- 
cial account of the expedition is now, for the first time, given 
to the public, among the preceding documents. 

It is this formidable military expedition into the very heart 
of Wisconsin, more than a century and a half ago, that will 
ever indissolubly associate his name, services and memory 
^vith the primitive history of our State. 

no Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.y. 

While absent on this important service, he was chosen by 
the Council to the Lieutenancy — or Lieutenant Governorship 
of the Province, to serve in the absence of the Governor. On 
the 28th November, 1724, Gov. De Yaudreuil wrote to the 
French Ministry, that the Sieur De Louvigny would soon pro- 
ceed to France, and commended him to the Government for 
his intimate knowledge of the Indians, and his acquaintance 
with the measures to terminate the Indian war. His services 
to his country were so well appreciated, that while in his na- 
tive land he was promoted to the Governorship of Three Elv- 
ers; but lost his life by shipwreck near Louisburg, returning 
from France, on the night of August 2Tth, 1725. He left a 
widow and two daughters; and, early in 1730, his widow 
sought to return in one of the King's ships to France. 

^NTicholas Perrot, an early and adventurous explorer of Wis- 
consin, born in 1644, was a man of talent, enterprise and con- 
siderable education. He early repaired to the Indian country, 
and made himself familiar with the Algonquin languages. 
We now find him engaged as a trader; first among the Potta- 
wattamies, and then among the Foxes and Monomonees, ac- 
quiring great influence among them, especially the Foxes, who 
called him Metamenens, or Little Maize. The Foxes, it is said, 
on one occasion, at least, showed the sincerity of their friend- 
ship, rescuing him from the Miamies and Maskoutens, at their 
village at the head of Fox river, and honoring him with a guard. 
Having been invited to a banquet, by the chief of the latter 
tribe, he profited by the occasion to address the warriors of the 
two tribes, and formed a kind of alliance between them, to the 
great displeasure of the Pottawattamies. In the spring of 
1670 he joined a flotilla of canoes, setting out from Green Bay 
for Montreal, manned by no less than 900 men, and reached 
that city safely. In the following year he accompanied Sieur 
De St. Lusson, as his interpreter, to a grand council at Sault 
St. Mary, when De St. Lusson took formal possession of the 
country in the name of the King of France. 

In the spring of 1683 he was sent by Gov. De La Barre, 
with a band of twenty men, to establish friendly alliances with 


Canadian Documents 


the loways and Sioiix or Dacotahs; he established a post on 
the Mississippi, below the mouth of the Wisconsin, and to this 
"enterprising trader," says Dr. O'Callaghan, '"^is the world 
indebted for the discovery of the celebrated Lead Mines, on the 
river Des Moines, in Iowa, which at one time bore his name." 
In 1684 he raised an Ottawa force to join Gov. De La Barre 
in what proved a fruitless expedition; and the next spring he 
was sent back, with extensive powers, among the Western In- 
dians. On his way he brought about peace between the Foxes 
on the one side, and the Ottawas, Chippewas and Sioux on the 
other, by restoring to a Chippewa chief his daughter, held cap- 
tive by the Foxes. After taking command at Green Bay, he 
went up the Fox river to the town of the Miamies and Mas- 
koutens, descended the Wisconsin to its mouth, and visited the 
Sioux country. De Xonville, the successor of De La Barre, 
not approving of such distant expeditions, ordered Perrot to 
return to Green Bay. ''I could not," says Perrot, "obey 
without abandoning the goods which I had induced merchants 
to advance to me for my voyage. I was then in the Sioux 
country, where the frost had broken all our canoes. I was 
obliged to spend the summer there, during which I endeavored 
to get canoes to return to Michillimakinac, but they did not 
arrive till the fall" of 1686. ^Yhile at Green Bay, on this oc- 
casion, he presented a splendid silver ostensoriuni to the mis- 
sion of St. Francis, at "La Baye des Puantes, 1686," with his 
name and presentation engTaved thereon, which v^as dug up a 
few years since while excavating for the foundation of a house 
on the site of that ancient church.* 

While at Green Baj, Perrot received orders to collect all 
the French and Indians of his region, and march to the east- 
ward to join De Xonville in his campaign against the Sene- 
cas. While visiting the Indian tribes to enlist them in the 
French service, a formidable party of 1,500 Foxes, Maskou- 
tens and Kickapoos, going out against the Sioux, formed a plot 
tc rob Ferret's post and massacre all the French in the set- 

•At Depere, five miles above Green Bay. See Wis. Hist. Collections Mi. 
note, p. 108. ^- ^' ^' 

112 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

tlement. But fortunately returning in time, he made exag- 
gerated reports of his o^\ti strength, secured the chiefs, and 
thwarted their nefarious plans. The next spring, 1687, he re- 
paired to Mackinaw, and thence went eastward and joined De 
isTonville, and shared in his memorable campaign against the 
Senecas. But during his absence, the mission buildings near 
Green Bay, in which he had deposited his furs for safety, 
were totally destroyed by fire. 

In 1689, we find him commissioned ^'to manage the inter- 
ests of commerce of the Indian tribes and people of the Bay 
Des Puants, Xadouesioux, Mascoutins, and other Western na- 
tions of the Upper MississiDpi, and to take possession in the 
King's name of all the places where he has heretofore been, 
and whither he will go.'' He was soon recalled by Gov. Fron- 
tenac to Mackinaw, and visiting Montreal, he accompanied 
Sieur De Louvigny to his new command at Mackinaw, and 
was afterwards stationed among the Miamies at Maramec, or 
the Kalamazoo, in Michigan. In 1695, he visited Montreal at 
the head of a delegation of Sauks, Eoxes, Monomonees, Mi- 
amies and Pottowattamies ; and, in 1697, a party of Miamies 
retiring from an unsuccessful foray against the Sioux, met Per- 
rot, and, smarting under their failure, after plundering him of 
his property, were about to bum him, and he was only saved 
by the friendly intervention, of the Poxes, by whom he was 
greatly beloved. At the peace concluded in 1701, he was the 
interpreter of one of the Western tribes on Lake Superior, 
and was subsequently employed by the administration of the 
Marquis De Yaudreuil, to whom he addressed a memoir re- 
specting French interests in the Western country. He trav- 
eled over the most of ^ew France, and left behind him evi- 
dence of his intimate knowledge of Indian character in his in- 
teresting work, entitled Moeurs, Coutumes, et Beligion des Sau- 
vages, dans V Amerique Septentrionale; largely cited by De La 
Potherie, CharlevoLx, Lafitau and others, which remained in 
manuscript until published in Paris, in 1864, in a 12 mo. vol- 
ume. Charlevoix testifies, that Perrot ''was a man of 
much ability;" and Shea, the scholarly historian of :N"ew 

1867] Canadian Documents 113 

Prance, adds, that after all iiis labors, Perrot returned a 
ruined man to Montreal, and died subsequent to 1718. His 
memory and services as an adventurous pioneer explorer of 
Wisconsin deserve to be lield in lasting remembrance. 

Sieur Marchand De Lignery, or De Ligneris, who led 
an expedition against the Sanks and Poxes in 1728, proved 
himself, during his long and important services, a man of un- 
common vigor and ability. The first notice we find of him is 
in 1710, when it was proposed by Gov. Yaudreuil to send 
him to Mackinaw as second to De Louvigny; and he was 
then regarded by the Governor as possessing "not less merit," 
though less experience, than his superior in command. It is 
probable, he remained in service at Mackinaw for many years, 
and very likely served on the expedition against the Poxes in 
1716. In 1726, he concluded a treaty, at Green Bay, with the 
Sauks, Poxes and Winnebagoes. The accounts already given 
of his Pox expedition, in 1728, embody all we at present know 
of that early enterprise. 

In 1739 we find him among the troops assembled at the gen- 
eral rendezvous at Port Assumption, at the mouth of the 
River Margot, near the present City of Memphis, on the Mis- 
sissippi, for a new campaign against the Chickasaws, under 
Bienville; but from the tardiness of the arrival of a portion 
of the troops, disease and great mortality among those en- 
camped or in garrison, together with a deficiency of provisions, 
the expedition was abandoned. 

At the period of 1741, the Poxes were sending out war par- 
ties against the Prench settlements in the Illinois country, and 
killed several of the Prench settlers. De Lignery favored a 
vigorous movement against the Poxes, whose utter destruction 
was demanded, as Prench presents and good treatment failed 
to induce them to keep their promises and live in peace; and 
they had, moreover, a secret understanding with both the Sioux 
and Iroquois to give them a friendly reception, in case they 
should be obliged to abandon their villages. Though such an 
expedition was approved by De Longueuil and De Beauhar- 

114 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

nois, and plans made for carrying it out the foUo^ving year, it 
was probably discouraged by the King and cabinet, and laid 
aside; and presents were again substituted for the sword witb 
which to conciliate those refractory Indians. 

We subsequently hear of De Lignery as serving in Acadia 
— ^probably during the period of 1745-'47. During this war 
a party of Dutch and Mohawks, the latter under the famous 
Thoianoguen, or ^Yh^te Head, better known as King Hen- 
drick, penetrated in 1747, to the Cascade of the Island of 
Montreal, where they were defeated by the Chevalier De La 
Come and M. St. Pierre, with whom De Lignery served, 
on this occasion, with much credit. The next year he was 
sent to Xew York to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. Gov. 
La Galissoniere pronouncing him "a very prudent officer'' 
for such a misson. In 1752 he was commanding the French 
post at Wea, on the ^Yabash, about eight miles below the pres- 
' ent city of Lafayette, where he had a troublesome command 
with a wily and restless set of Indians around him. 

In the battle of Monongahela, July 9, 1755, he distinguished 
himself; it being related that the ''Sieur De Lignery, and the 
other officers, followed by the French and Indians, fell so im- 
petuously on the English, as to force them to. retire." Towards 
the close of 1756, we find him the successor of Dumas in com- 
mand of Fort Du Quesne, and was very active during the en- 
suing two years in keeping out parties attacking and harass- 
ing the frontiers of the British Colonies, and assailing Gen. 
Forbes' advanced parties, and defeating Major Grant. He 
enjoyed the confidence of G^n. Montcalm. When Gen. 
Forbcs's advanced parties, and defeating Major Grant. He 
French were too weak to resist successfully so welL appointed 
an army, and retired — De Lignery, at the head of a body 
of 200 men, retiring to Venanajo, the mouth of French Creek, 
where he erected Fort Machault. He was, the next season, 
1759, ordered to fall back to Fort Xiagara, which was menaced 
by Gem Prideaux and Sir Wm. Johnson; and assembled 850 
French and 350 Indians, at Presque Isle, whom he led to 

1867] Canadian Documents 115 

the relief of iSTiagara, but his whole party was defeated, and 
he himself wounded and taken prisoner. We find no further 
mention of him. 

Of the Sieur Daneil Lienard De Beaujeu, the second in 
command on De Lignery's campaign against the Foxes in 
1728, we can find but little, though it is evident that his serv- 
ices must .have been long and important. In 1748, we find 
him assisting at an Indian council at Quebec; and, in 1755, he^ 
after many entreaties with his superior officer, Contrecoeur, 
and the Indians, led forth his band of French and Indians 
against tlie almost overwhelming advancing army of Brad- 
dock. The Indians were very reluctant "I,'' exclaimed 
Beaujeu, ^^am determined to go out against the enemy. I 
am certain of victory. What! will you suffer your father to 
depart alone Fired by his language and the reproach it 
conveyed, they yielded to his entreaties, replenished their am- 
munition, and sallied forth under the leadership of De Beau- 
jeu, Dumas, De Lignery and De Langlade. Beaujeu, went 
before them, with long leaps, the gaily-colored fringes of his 
hunting-shirt, and the silver gorget on his bosom, bespeaking 
the chief, who led them on to battle and to victory. He 
gained immortal fame at the expense of his life, for he fell 
early in the engagement before the shower of grape and mus- 
ketry. In the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin, twenty-seven 
years before, he had doubtless learned some of the lessons of 
forest-war which now culminated in a triumph so glorious to 
the arms of France, and so disastrous to those of Great Britain 
and her American Colonies. 

De Beaujeu was Captain of the troops of the marine, a 
Knight of the 3Iilitary Order of St. Louis, and a proprietor 
of a Seignory on the Biver Cambly, in Canada. 

Sieur La Peniere Marin- would seem to have been the 

•This officer must not be confounded with the Sieur Mabin, who served in 
Acadia, and" on the borders of New York during the period of 1745 — '48 ; nor 
must Bay Terte, where he sometimes served, which is connected with the strait 
of Northumberland, and north of the Bay of Fundy, be confounded with our 
Green Bay of Wisconsin. 

There was a captain La Makqce De Marin who was associated with Gov. JoN- 
QuiEEE, and other Canadian dignitaries, in a company formed professedly for the 
«xploration of the West, at Government expense, but in reality having only 
trading profits in view. De Mabik was to ascend the Missouri to Its source, and 

ii6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

person who commanded the post at the Folles Avoine or ^o- 
nomonees in 1730, and in March of that year led an expedi- 
tion against the Foxes. It is to be regretted that we yet have 
no certain details of that expedition — or rather perhaps, series 
of expeditions, as related by Grignon; the bare allusion to it, 
and fixing the date, in the preceding Canadian Documents, 
only serves to whet our appetites for more. In the absence of 
further official accounts, we must be thankful for the traditions 
of it handed down to us by the late venerable Augustin Grig- 
non, as narrated in the 3d volume of our Collections^ there 
given as Captain Morand; and those of Mr. Snelling, trans- 
ferred from his rare work to our present volume. The Gov- 
ernment archives in Canada, and in Paris, may yet furnish 
important documents upon this, and other military enterprises 
of that period. 

In 1747, Sieur La Perriere Marin commanded the post 
at the River St. Joseph, on the eastern border of Lake Michi- 
gan. He wrote in July of that year, that the English were en- 
deavoring to debauch the Indian nations contiguous to that 
post, by the unfavorable impressions they were trying to insin- 
uate among them through the Iroquois, or Five xTations, of 
!N'ew York, who managed to embroil the Indians of the xTorth- 
West in difficulties with the French, and employ every pre- 
text to eflFe<it the destruction of that post; but mentions the 
Pottawattamies as an exception to that influence, always ap- 
pearing devoted to the French. It would appear, that ini 
1754, he was in command at Green Bay — we have the good 
authority of Dr. O'Callaghan in favoring this opinion. Gov. 
Duquesne, in his despatch of October, 1754, says: "The In- 

thence to follow the course of the first river presenting itself that seemed to 
flow towards the Pacific. But the accumulation, peltry being the grand object, 
they never got farther than the Rocky Mountains, where they erected B^ort 
Jonquiere in 1752. The chief partners of the speculation carried on at State 
cost, divided a large spoil, the Governor's share having been three hundred 
thouBAnd francs. Thus, says Gaeneau, ended ignobly, by a project nobly con- 
ceived, but made almost abortive by injustice and selfishness. 

It Is possible that this Captain La Maeque De Mabin is the true name of onr 
early Wisconsin hero — yet, on the whole, we think not. This Captain Maeix 
must have been a person of the Quebec region, well known to the Governor and 
other dignitaries — perhaps the one who served in Acadia and on the New York 
borders, in 1745-48 — to have figured so prominently with them in this plunder- 
ing Rocky Mountain scheme. 

In Vol. IX, p. 139, of the N. Y. Colonial Documents under date July, 1747, 
we find Sieur La Pebrieeb Maein's name in full, as then commandant of the 
post of St. Joseph ; on page 2G3 of the same volume, the same person 
unquestionably is mentioned as commanding at The Bay — Green Bay — in 

tTKA L. C. D. 


Canadian Documents 


dians 01 the ^orth are very qiiiet, because Sieur Marin, wlia 
commands at The Bay, and leads the Indians at will, has pro- 
cured a repose for them by the peace he has caused to be con- 
cluded with the Christinaux.'^* 

In July, 1756, Sieur Coulon de Yilliers, at the head of 
400 Frenchmen and some Indians, ''and Mr. Marin, com- 
mandant at The Bay, with sixty Indians of his post," attacked 
and routed several hundred batteaux, returning from con- 
veying supplies to Fort Oswego, killing a large number of 
the English, and making forty prisoners. And shortly after 
the capture of Oswego, in the same year, and in which he 
must have taken part, Liei^t. Marin utterly defeated, at the 
head of a hundred Indians, a party of fifty- two English near 
Lake George, whom he had drawn out of their fort. And 
in 1757, he took part in the capture of Eort William Henry, 
commanding at the time a party of twenty Foxes, and it is to 
be presumed, thirty-three Sauks, forty-eight Winnebagoes of 
Green Bay, ten lowas and one hundred and twenty-nine Mo- 
nomonees, who were then connected with the army, and ail 
from that region of country. He shortly after accomplished 
a most daring expedition against Fort Edward, in which the 
great Montcalm declared, that "he exhibited a rare audac- 
ity,'' for with a detachment reduced to about two hundred 
men, ''he carried off a patrol of ten men, and swept away an 
ordinary guard of fifty, like a wafer;'' took post in the 
woods near the Fort, when some db,000 English troops then 
sallied out, as the French represented, and fought for an hour, 
when Marin, having killed a number of his foes, retreated in 
safety, bringing in thirty-two scalps and one prisoner. And, 
the following year, 1758, he was actively engaged at Ticonder- 
oga; and after the repulse of Abercrombie's English and 
Colonial army, Marin had a severe fight ^vith the partisan 
Major Eobert Eogers, and from his inferior force he was 
compelled to retire, which he did in good order, and brought 
in several prisoners. 

♦The Christinaux, or Knistinaux, a powerful tribe residing north the Sioux, 
and the most northerly nation of the Algonkin-Lenape family. 

li8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

This is the last notice we find of Sieur Marin, unless, as 
we suspect, that he is the person referred to as Captain Marin, 
who is brought to view in his promoted grade, as the Lieuten- 
ant disappears. In June, 1759, he lead a party of 280 In- 
dians, apparently Delawares and Shawanoes with Eocheblave 
and three Canadians, from Fort iSTiagara ''to insult" Fort Pitt, 
which they found in poor condition, and could have taken had 
the French portion of the detachment been stronger. He re- 
turned with the large reinforcements under De Lignery for 
ihe relief of Fort iSTiagara, shared in its defeat, and was among 
"the prisoners taken on that occa.sion — '*the famous French 
partisan Marin," as described in the Life of Sir William John- 
son. The sun-ender of all Canada soon followed, when most 
likely Marin, like his fellow soldier De Langlade, retired to 
the far-off wilds of Wisconsin, where he probably died some- 
time anterior to 1781.^ 

In 1711, Sieur Du Buisson was sent to assume the com- 
mand of Detroit, and defended the place most gallantly the 
following year. In 1719, he was designed for the command 
of the post of Wea, on the Wabash; and in 1730 we find 
him commanding at Mackinaw, and projecting an expedition 
against the Foxes, which, it would seem, he carried into ef- 
fect. During the period of 1747 and 1748, he was command- 
ing first at Detroit, and then at the Miamies; and in April, 
1760, a Captain Du Buisson received a gun-shot wound in the 
shoulder in the battle before Quebec. This is all we can find 
respecting the services of that officer; nor are we certain that 
these references all relate to the same person, though they do 

Of the Sieur De Villiers, who led the important expedi- 
tion against the Foxes, in September, 1730, and who com- 
manded the Fort at St. Joseph, we have unfortunately no fur- 
ther particulars; but his sons, Capt. Coulon De ViUiers and 
Chavalier Xeyon De ViUiers, are well known in our border 

*See Wisconsin Historical Collections, vol. iii, p. 211. and 505. 


Canadian Documents 


Coulon De Villiers^ doubtless, served with his father on 
his campaign against the Foxes, and deserves special notice. 
We next find him, early in 1747, carrying on a winter expe- 
dition, on snow shoes, to Acadia, on the present borders of 
Isew Brunswick and iSTova Scotia, and had some severe fight- 
ing, in which, at first^ the French were successful, but Yil- 
liers was badly wounded in the left arm, and he and his party 
were eventually obliged to capitulate. In 1754, he com- 
manded a force at the head of the Ohio, reduced Fort Xeces- 
eity, making Washington a prisoner. '^Villiers' victory," ob- 
serves Garneau, "was the first act in the great drama of twenty- 
nine years' duration, in which both Great Britain and France 
were destined to suffer terrible checks in America." He sub- 
sequently formed a camp of observation at ^M^iagara. During 
175i6, he was placed at the head of a corps of a thousand Ca- 
nadians and Indians to watch the British movements in the 
Os,wego region, and destroyed a convoy of two hundred ves- 
sels, in which over five hundred English were killed or taken; 
and he shared largely in the siege and capture of Oswego. 
When, in 1757, the English made a sortie during the siege of 
I'ort William Henry, De ViUiers attacked and drove them 
back, killing over fifty, and making four prisoners ; and shared 
in the glory of capturing that important garrison. It would 
seem that he was still employed in the service till 1759, and 
was one of the defenders and captives of Xiagara in that year;: 
after which we hear no more of him. From his fiery and im- 
petuous, yet brave and prudent, character, executing the most 
perilous enterprises, and evincing proofs of the most daring in- 
trepidity, he was called Le Grand Villiers. 

Xeyon De Villiers was the youngest of seven brothers, six 
of whom, it is said, lost their lives in the wars of Canada — 
one of Avhom, M. De Junionville, vras killed by Washington's 
party in 1754. In 1751- 52 he commanded Fort Miami, and 
was subsequently stationed at Fort Chartres, in the Illinois 
country, from which he convoyed provision, by water to Fort 
Du Quesne; and, in 1750, led a force of Illinois French and 
Indians nil the way to Furt Grauville,on the frontiers of Penn- 

I20 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

sylvania, which, he captured and burnt, and retired with a 
large number of prisoners. He held the command of Fort 
Chartres till June, 1764:, when he retired to ^ls'cw Orleans. 
He received the order of the Cross of St. Louis as a reward 
for his fidelity and services. 

The first notice we have of Sieur De i^oyelle, is as com- 
mandant of the Post at Miami and serving under Sieur De 
Villiers, on his expedition against the Foxes, in September, 

In 1732, a war party of the Iroquois and Hurons, encour- 
aged, if not led, by Sieur Charles Deschamps De Boishebert, 
the commandant at Detroit, went on an expedition against 
the Foxes, and for their "adventure" the details of which are 
not given, the principal chiefs were promised medals of honor. 
The Foxes and their allies became so troublesome, that prep- 
arations began, near the close of 1734, for a new expedition 
against them, which was carried on the following year. Sixty 
soldiers wei-e assigned to the Sieur De Xoyelle for this sei-v- 
ice, aided, apparently, by such numbers of friendly Indians 
as he should think proper to embody for the enterprise. \Ye 
are without the details of its execution, but it probably re- 
sulted very much like De Lignery's, when the Foxes managed 
to evade coming to blows, and kept out of harm's way. In the 
official documents of the times, we find one written in October, 
173G, ill which the following occurs: "Sieur De Beauhar- 
nois reported last year the cause of the ill-success attending 
Sieur De Xoyelle's campaign against the Foxes and Sakis. 
He has the honor to inform you of the resolutions adopted by 
these Indians, and of the disposition of the Sakis, according to 
the news he has received from the commandant at the river St. 
Joseph.'' In a letter of Louis XV, of May, 1737, he says: 
'•'His Majesty has learned with pleasure, that ,Captain De 
][Sroyelle's expedition against the Foxes and Sacs in 1735, has 
not been attended by any bad consequences." 

In 1741, the French accounts represent that the English were 
instigating the Indians of the Upper Counti-y to rid themselves 
of the French, but this is hardly probable. The Foxes did, 


Canadian Documents 

12 1 

however, send out some war parties against the Illinois, by 
whom several Frenchmen were killed in that region, as already 
mentioned in our notice of De Lignery; and an expedition 
was contemplated for the following year against them. If it 
took place, which is not probable, none more likely than Sieur 
De i^'oyelle to have shared in its honors and hardships. But 
as we find the French authorities distributing presents to the 
Sacs and Foxes in 1742-43, we presume a peaceful policy was 
deemed preferable 

Capt. De Xoyelle arrived at Quebec from Mackinaw, in 
the summer of 1747, with dispatches and intelligence from that 
quarter, and in the latter part of that year we find him in com- 
mand at Mackinaw. He was present at an exchange of pris- 
oners at Montreal, in 1750, and was then recognized as a Cap- 
tain of infantry, and a Knight of the Eoyal Military Order of 
St Louis. His son was a lieutenant in the service, and second 
in command at Mackinaw, at the period of 1745-47 ; and one 
or the other, as mentioned in Pouchot's Memoir, was com- 
mandant of the small garrison at Toronto in 1757. We find 
nothing further concerning either of them. 

Sieur De St. Ange commanded the escort which accom- 
panied Charlevoix, the celebrated historian and traveler, 
through the Western country in 1721. O'Callaghan states 
that he distinguished himxself against the Foxes in 1728; but 
we suspect the expedition of Sieur De Villiers, in Septem- 
ber, 1730, is the service referred to, when the Sieurs De St. 
Ange, father and son, joined De Villiers with a party of 
French from the distant Colony of Louisiana — that part of it, 
doubtless, known as the Illinois country; and it must have 
been in that region that St. Ange figured as an officer in 
1780, as stated by Gayarre and O'Callaghan. When D'Ar- 
taguette led a force from the Illinois, in 1736, against the 
Ohickasaws, one of the St. Anges — probably the son— ac- 
companied him, and was killed in battle with that intrepid 
nation. The survivor, Louis St. Ange De Belrive, was com- 
mandant at Vincennes at the period of 1751-52, and subse- 
quently served in the Illinois country, succeeding ISTeyon Do 

122 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

Villiers in command at Fort Char ires, when he retired from 
the country in June, 1764. He surrendered that post to the 
English, in October, 1765, and retired to St. Louis. The tra- 
dition that he subsequently returned, and resmned the com- 
mand at Fort Chartres for a brief period, is unworthy of credit. 
Sir Wm. Johnson intimates, in 1766, that St. Ange had en- 
listed in the Spanish service; and as late as 1772, he speaks of 
him as yet on the Mississippi, as a former active French officer^ 
and at that time, m Johnson's opinion, acting as a se<?ret agent, 
sending out mischievous belts in the name of the French King 
to the Indians, to prepare them to co-operate with the French 
in case of a renewal of hostilities. But these are mere sur- 
mises of Johnson, and do not deserve serious consideration. 

It is thus seen, that in the primitive days of Wisconsin, a 
goodly number of gallant French officers, whose names have 
become immortalized in the history of the country, either led 
or accompanied large bodies of whites and Indians along the 
beautiful Fox Eiver Valley, and participated in many a savage 
conflict with the intrepid Sanks and Foxes. In recording that 
sanguinary chapter in the early annals of those tribes, we can- 
not but admire their desperate bravery in contending for their 
homes and loved ones, and commiserate their sufferings and 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 123 

Early Days at Prairie du Chien 

And Winnebago Outbreak of 1827/ 

Perhaps some of our readers may have seen Carver o* 
Schoolcraft^s Travels. If thej have, it may be that they 
knoTv, albeit neither of the books is worth a brass pin as au- 
thority, that the Chippevra and Dakota or Sioux tribes have 
waged war against each other so long that the origin of their 
hostility is beyond the ken of man. General Pike persuaded 
them to make peace in 1805, but it lasted only till his back 
was turned. The agents for the Government have brought 
about several treaties between the tribes, in which forgiveness 
and friendship for the future, were solemnly promised. In- 
dian hereditary hate is stronger than Indian faith, and these 
bargains were always violated as soon as opportunity occurred. 
Nevertheless, . our Executive gave orders in 1825, that a gen- 
eral congress of all the belligerent tribes on the frontier should 
be held at Prairie du Chien. They flocked to the treaty 
ground from all quarters, to see the sovereignty or majesty — 
we know not which is the better word — of the United States, 
ably represented by Governors Cass and Clark, who acted as 

The policy of the United States on this occasion was 
founded on an error. It supposed that the quarrels of the In- 
dians were occasioned by a dispute concerning boundaries of 

^This article originally appeared quite » number of years ago in the public 
prints, and was re-published, in 1857, by the Minnesota Historical Society, 
with the suggestion that perhaps Wm. J. S^jelling was the writer. The in- 
ternal evidence, in style and in references, make it certain that Mr. SnellinQ 
wrote these interesting reminiscences; let the curious reader, if he will, but 
carefully investiKate these points, if only \on-^ enough to compare tlie Identity 
of the single reference in this sketch, and in the preceding paper on La Butte 
Dea Morts, regarding the begging characteristic of the Indians for some of their 
father's 'milk/ to help them "to cry for the slain," and we think he will b« 
sufficiently convinced, that the same paternity is safely attributable to both 
sketches. Mr. Snelling was an eye-witness tc much that he relates, and 
though his style is somewhat humorous, it is graphic, and may in the main be 
regarded as trustworthy. L. C. D. 

124 Wisconsin Historical Collections lvcLv. 

their respective territories. !N'ever was a treaty followed by 
more unhappy results, at least as far as it concerned the Da- 
kotas. They concurred in the arrangement of their bounda- 
ries proposed by the commissioners, as they do in every meas- 
ure proposed by an American officer, thinking that compul- 
sion would otherwise be used. But they are not satisfied, nor 
had they reason to be, for their ancient limits were grievously 
abridged. All the Indians present had, or imagined they had, 
another cause of complaint. They had been supplied with 
food, while the congTess lasted, by the United States, as was 
the reasonable practice, for they cannot hunt and make trea- 
ties at one and the same time. Dysentery supervened on the 
change of diet; some died on the ground, and a great many 
perished on the way from Prairie du Chien to their hunting 
grounds. Always suspicious of the whites, they supposed that 
their food had been poisoned; the arguments of their traders 
could not convince them of the contrary, and hundreds will 
die in that belief. 

Moreover, they did not receive such presents as the British 
agents had been wont to bestow on them, and they complained 
that such stinginess was beneath the dignity of a great peo- 
ple, and that it also showed a manifest disregard of their ne- 

They were especially indig-nant at being stinted in whis- 
key. It behooved the commissioners, indeed, to avoid the 
appearance of effecting any measures by bribery, but the bar- 
barians did not view the matter in that light. To show them 
that the liquor was not withheld on account of its value, two 
barrels were brought upon the ground. Each dusky counte- 
nance was instantly illuminated with joy at the agreeable 
prospect, but they were to learn that there is sometimes a 
"slip between the cup and the lip." Each lower jaw dropped 
at least six inches when one of the commissioners staved in 
the heads of the casks with an axe, and suffered all the coveted 
liquor to run to waste. *'It was a gTeat pity," said old Wakh- 
pa-koo-tay, speaking of the occurrence, ''there was enough 
wasted to have kept me drunk all the days of my life." 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 125 

Wakh-pa-koo-tay's only feelings were those of grief and as- 
tcnishment, but most of his fellows thought that this making 
a promise to the eye in order to break it to the sense, was 
a grievous insult, and so they continue to regard it to this 

The next ,year, a small party of Chippewas came to St. 
Peters, about which there are four Dakota villages, on pre- 
tence of business with, ''their father,'' the agent, but in reality 
to beg ammunition, clothing, and^, above all, strong drink- 
The Dakotas soon gathered about the place with frowns on 
their faces and guns in their hands. Xevertheless, three of 
the Chippewas ventured to visit the Columbian Fur Com- 
pany's trading-house, tw^o miles from the Fort. While there, 
they became aware of their danger, and desired two of the 
white men attached to the establishment to accompany them 
back, thinking their presence might be some protection. They 
were in error. As they passed a little copse, three Dakotas 
sprang from behind a log wdth the speed of light, fired their 
pieces into the face of the foremost, and then fled. The guns 
must have been double loaded, for the man's head was liter- 
ally blown from his shoulders, and his white companions were 
spattered with his brains and his blood. The survivors gained 
the Foi-t without further molestation. Their comrade was 
buried on the spot wdiere he fell. A staff was set up on his 
grave, which bc-came a land-mark, and received the name of 
the murder pole. The murderers boasted of their achievement, 
and with impimity. They and their tribe thought that they 
had struck a fair blow on their ancient enemies in a becoming 
manner. It was only said, that Too-pun-kah Zeze, of the vil- 
lage of Batture aux Fie vers, and two others, had each acquired 
a right to wear skunk-skins on their heels, and war-eagles' 
feathers on their heads. ^ 

A winter passed, and the murdered man was not revenged. 
In the spring we had another striking proof of Indian regard 

^The skunk is no coward, but is always ready to defend himself at & 
moment's warning. So when a warrior has proved his pluck, he has a right 
to wear the distinguished badge of the skunk-skin. For every scalp takea 
from an enemy, the right to wear a war eagle's feather is assured. L. C. D. 

126 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

to treaty stipulation?, and Indian love for American citizens; 
end also of the wisdom of the Government that had expected 
to bind them with strips of paper or parchment. Every one 
knows tliat, in the Western country, French people make 
maple sugar in the spring. Methode chose to set up hi^^ 

sugar camp at the mouth of Yellow River, two miles from 
Prairie du Chien.^ His wife, one of the most beautiful women 
we ever saw, acx3ompanied him with her five children. Besides 
those, tlio wolves and the trees were his only companions. A 
wtek elapsed, and he had not been seen at the Prairie. One 
of his friends, thinking that he might have been taken ill, 
and was unable to come for his supplies, resolved to visit his 

On reaching the mouth of Yellow River, the man shouted 
aloud, that ^lethode or his dog might answer, and thereby 
iLdicato in what exact spot in the w^oods his cabin stood. iTa 
answer was returned. After searching upwards of an hour,, 
and culling till he was hoarse, he fell upon a little path which 
so<jn brought him to the ruins of a hut that appeared to 
have been recently burned. All was still as it might 
have been at the birth of Time. Concluding that Methode 
had burned his camp, and gone higher up the river, the honest 
Canadian turned homeward. He had not gone ten steps when 
he saw something that made him quicken his pace. It was 
the Ixnly of Methode's dog. The animal had beon shot with 
half a score of balls, and yet held in his dead jaw^s a mouthful 
of scarlet cloth, which, apparently, he had torn from the calf 
of an Indian's leg. The man ran at full speed to the bank of 
the river, threw himself into his canoe, and paddled with all 
his might till he was out of gun-shot from the shore. 

Having made known what he had seen public, a party was 
soon assembled, all good men and true, and well armed. They 
soon gained the spot, and began to explore the ruins of the 

'The killing of Methodb and family occurred at a greater distance from 
Prairie du Chien than Mr. Snelling, who evidently wrote from memory, sup- 
posed. Judge LocKWOOD, Wis. Hist. Colls, ii, 155-'56, says it happened ia 
March, 1827 ; that Methode, his wife, and, he thought, five children, were th^ 
Tictlms; and that this tragedy occurred up Yellow or Painted Rock Creek, 
ftlK>ut twelve miles above Prairie du Chien, on the Iowa side of the Mississippi* 
where they had gone to make sugar. See, also, Neill's Minnesota, p. 304^ 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 127 

hut. The bodies of the whole family were there, and it was 
-evident that accidental fire had not occasioned their death. 
They were shockingly mangled — Madame Methode in par- 
ticular. Her husband's hand gTasped a bloody knife, from 
which it was inferred that he had not fallen unavenged. Yet 
the stains might have come from his own person. 

When the coroner's inquest sat, it appeared that a party of 
Winnebagoes had been out, notwithstanding the treaty, against 
the Chippewas, and had returned unsuccessful. Fifteen of 
them had been seen near the Yellow River two days after 
Methode's departure from the Prairie. It was ascertained 
that two Winnebagoes had been buried that night. The white 
party returned to the village; and, the next day, an Indian 
boy of fourteen admitted that he had seen Methode's camp 
while hunting, and had communicated his discovery to his 
companions. To make assurance doubly sure, Wa-man-doos- 
^a-ra-ha, an Indian of very bad reputation, made his appear- 
ance in the village in a pair of red leggins, one of which had 
been torn behind. He came to tell the agent, Mr. Boilvin, 
how much he loved the Americans, and that he strongly sus- 
pected the Sacs of the murder that had been committed. He 
demanded a blanket and a bottle of whisky as a reward for 
his zealous friendship. Mr. Boilvin caused the friendly 
Winnebago to be arrested, and examined him closely. Then 
the murderer called up his Indian spirit, confessed his guilt, 
and implicated several others. 

A party of militia forthwith started for the nearest Winne- 
bago camp. We are able to state — and we love to be correct 
' in important particulars, that the Captain wore neither plume 
nor sash, nor anything else that might have made him con- 
spicuous; that the men did not march in the style most ap- 
proved on Boston common; that they beat no drum before 
them, and that none of them had ever seen a sham fight. Xo, 
each marched ''on his own hook," each carried a good rifle, or 
Korth-West gun, and each kept his person as much out of sight 
-as possible. The consequence was, that the Indian camp was 
surprised and completely surrounded, and. the savages saw that 

128 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

their best and, indeed, only course, was to surrender quietly. 
However, the whites found only one of those they sought in 
camp, and took him away with them. The celebrated chief 
De Kau-ray followed them. 

"Father," said he to Mr. Boilvin, "you know that thero 
are foolish young men among every people. Those who have 
done this thing were foolish young men, over whom I and the 
other wise men have no control. Besides, when they went to 
Yellow Elver, they had just drank the last of a keg which you 
gave them yourself. It was the whiskey, and not they, that 
killed Methode, and abused his wife. Father, I think you 
should excuse their folly this time, and they will never do the 
like again. Father, their families are very poor, and if you 
will give them clothing^, and something to eat, you may be sure 
that they will never kill another white man." 

"I shall give them nothing," said the agent "and will be 
sure that they will never kill another man; they will assur- 
edly be hanged." 

"Your heart is very hard, father," replied De Kau-ray. 
"Your heart is very hard, but I cannot think that it will be as 
you say. You know that if you take our young men's lives 
we cannot prevent others from avenging them. Our warriors 
have always taken two lives for one. Our Great Father, the 
President, is not so hard hearted as you are. Our young men 
have killed a great many of your people, and he has always 
forgiven them." 

At that time Prairie du Chien had no great reason to boast 
of her administration of justice. A soldier, indeed, had been 
scourged at the public whipping-post, a man of ninety had 
been fined for lewdness, an Indian had been kicked out of a 
wheat field, on which he was trampling, and the magistracy 
prided themselves not a little on these energetic acts of duty. 
A jail there Avas, but it was of wood, and stood so far from the 
village, that a prisoner might carve the logs at noonday with- 
out much danger of detection. Scandal says, that the jailor of 
i1 uoed to bolt the door with a boiled carrot. Into this strong- 
hold the criminals were put at night— the place did not own a 

1867] narly rrairie au e-nien 129 

set of fetters — and in the morning they were missing. Had 
they been left to their own devices, there is little doubt that 
they would have remained to brave their fate, but it is thought 
that some white man informed them what their exact legal re- 
sponsibilities were, and advised them to escape. 

Col. Willoughby Morgan commanded the military at 
Prairie du Chien. He immediately caused two Winnebago 
chiefs to be seized, and informed the tribe that they would 
not be liberated till the murderers were delivered up. They 
were soon brought in, and as the civil authority had proved 
unable to keep them, they were committed to the garrison 
guard-house. Shortly after the garrison was broken up 
by order of the Secretary of War, and the troops were re- 
moved to St. Peters, two hundred miles farther up. There 
was no appearance of the District Judge to try the prisoners, 
and they were therefore transported to St. Peters, there to 
await his coming. 

They had long to wait; so long indeed, that they grew 
excessively obese and phlegmatic. In the following autumn,^ 
another party of Chippewas came to St. Peters, and as they 
remembered what had happened the year before, they took 
care to arrive just at day-break, and proceeded directly to the 
Port. There were twenty four persons in the band, eight of 
whom were warriors; the rest were women and children. 
The Chief was Kee-wee-zais-hish,^ or Plat Mouth, the 
gTeat man of the Sandy Lake Chippewas. He led his little 
troop straight to the Fort, where he unfurled and planted an 
American flag, and then demanded an interview with the 
agent and commanding officer. 

*Mr. SPELLING here seems to have erred in the order of events — »n error 
very common to reminiscence writers, who do not realize the importance of a 
strict regard to chronology ; or, more probably, neglect to verify the actual 
historical order of the events they narrate. This event, according to Neill, 
the usually careful historian of Minnesota, occurred in the autumn of 1826. 
It preceded the Methode tragedy several months. 

. We may state in this connection, that the garrison mentioned at St. Peters 
was Fort Snelling; and "the Colonel" in command there, was Col. Josiah 
Snelling, the father of the writer, who seems from feelings of modesty to have 
refrained from alluding to his father by name ; or perhaps, he was prompted 
to do so, the b'^tter to conceal his own anonymous character as the writer of 
these reminiscences. L- C. D. 

2 Such too is fLe orthography of the Indian name of Big Mocth as it appears 
appended to the treaty of Prairie Du Chien, iff August, 1825. In Neill's 
Minnesota we find it Atsh-ke-bug-ge-kozh ; and Es-qci-vu-si-coge, or Widh 
Mouth, is Schoolcraft's orthography. L. C. D. 

130 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

The Dakotas soon learned what was passing, and bj the 
time the gates were opened, a consideral^le number of them 
had assembled to gaze upon the enemy. Presently the officers 
came forth, and desired the visitors to enter. ^^Be not angry, 
father,'' replied the Flat Mouth, *'but I would rather say 
something here, before I enter your wig-warn or eat your 
bread: I desire that all these nuJi-too-es-sies — enemies — 
should hear it." 

The Colonel sent for the Chippewa interpreter, and, when 
he had come, desired the Chief to say on. 

"Father," said the chief, ^'you know that more than a year 
since, we made peace with your nah-too-es-sie children, because 
you desired us. We have kept the peace and listened to your 
advice, as we always do, for our American fathers are wise 
men, and advise us for our good. These men know whether 
we have done so or not. I speak with a sick heart. We are 
but few here, and these men will not keep the peace with us. 
We ask you to protect us, as we Avould protect you, if you 
should come into our country." 

The Colonel replied, that he could have no concern with the 
quarrels of the Dakotas and Chippewas. If they fought any- 
where else, he could not help it ; but while they remained un- 
der his flag they should not be molested, provided they did not 
molest others. He bade them pitch their lodges on a spot 
within musket shot of the walls, and there, he said and 
thought, they would be safe. He would make their cause his 
own if any harm should come to them there. This speech 
being expounded to the Dakotas, they all exclaimed — "hachee! 
hachee! hachetool" — that is it! that is right! 

The Plat Mouth then entered the Fort and partook of 
American hospitality. He then explained the object of his 
visit. It was the old story, repeated the thousandth time: 
That they were veiy poor; that they had left their friends at 
home with heavy hearts, and hoped that their father would 
give them something to make them glad. In short, the end- 
less catalogue of Indian wants was summed up by a humble 
petition for a little of their father's milk — whiskey — "to make 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 131 

them cry'' for certain friends they had lost. This shameless 
beggary should not be taken as proof of want of spirit. The 
main point in their political code is equality of property; he 
that has two shirts thinks it a duty to give one to him who has 
none. He who has none, thinks it no shame to ask one of 
him who has two. The effect of this system is, that they are 
always in want of everything, and the application of their 
own principles of action to their white neighbors makes their 
company excessively troublesome. It is true, that they are 
willing to reciprocate, as far as lies in their power, but then 
they never have anything to give. 

On the occasion in question, our Chippewa friends got, if 
not all they asked, yet more than they expected. Then, after 
having entered the garrison with the buffalo dance, they 
left the Fort, and set up their lodges as they had been 

In the afternoon Too-pun-kah Zeze arrived from the Bat- 
ture aux Fievres, with seven of his own band, and one other. 
They went directly to the Chippewa camp, and entered the 
largest lodge, where it happened that there were just nine per- 
sons. The young Dakota above named held in his hand a 
pipe, the stem of which was gaily ornamented with porcupine's 
quills and hair stained red. The Chippewa spread skins for 
his party, shook hands with them, and invited them courteous- 
ly to be seated. They also directed the women instantly to 
prepare a feast of venison, com and maple sugar, all of which 
articles were mixed together, and placed before the Dakotas 
in brimming bowls. When the entertainment was over, Too- 
pun-kah Zeze filled the peace-pipe he had brought, and passed 
it roimd. ^N'one rejected it, and all might, therefore, con- 
sider themselves pledged to peace, if not to love. The con- 
versation then became general and amicable. The Chip- 
pewa women coquetted with the Dakota youths, who seemed 
in no wise to consider them as enemies. 

JTo Dakota is suffered to wear a war-eagle's feather in his 
hair till he has kiUed his man. Too-pun-kah Zeze wore one 
for the Chippewa he had so treacherously slain the year be- 

132 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

fore, as we have already related. One of tlie fair Chippewas 
noticed it. ^'You ai'e young to wear tiiat/' said she. 

"I shall wear another before I am much older," he replied. 

Certainly after so much friendly intercourse, and so many 
demonstrations of good will, no one could have suspected any 
sinister purpose. The Chippewas, too, might have relied on 
their proximity to the Fort. But '^the heart of man is des- 
perately wicked.'^ The Dakotas had shook hands, and smok- 
ed the pipe of peace with their former foes, had eat of their 
fat, and drank of their strong. At last, at sun-set, they took 
their guns and rose to depart. The eight foremost halted out- 
side the door, while the last held it aside with his foot, and all 
dischai-ged their guns into the lodge, excepting one whose 
piece missed fire. The assassins gave the Indian cri de joie, 
and fled like deer. 

The gTins were heard in the Fort, and the news soon reached 
the commanding officer, who immediately ordered the offi- 
cer^ to proceed to the nearest village with an hundred men, 
and apprehend as many Dakotas as he possibly could. l^o 
time was to be lost, for the night was fast coming up the hori- 
zon! The Chippewas who were not hurt, joined the party. 
Circumstances proved favorable to the enterprise; just as the 
party left the gate, upwards of a hundred armed Dakotas ap- 
peared on a low ridge near the Fort The Captain divided his 
force, and dispatched one party round the small wood to take 
the enemy in the rear, while he advanced upon them in front. 
The Dakotas kept their ground firmly. Some covered them- 
selves with the scattered scrub oak trees ; others laid down in 
the long grass. Guns were already cocked when the detached 
party appeared in their rear. Then the Indians gave way. 
Most escaped, but thirty were taken, and speedily conveyed to 
the Fort, where accommodations were provided for them in 
the guard-house and the black-hole. The Chippewas, too, re- 

^Mr. Neill, In his Hist. Minnesota, p. 392, says Captain Claek was the of- 
ficer sent out on this service "early the next morning." This was Capt, 
Nathan Clark, of Connecticut, who entered the service as Second Lieutenant, 
In May, 1813, and after the war, was retained in the Fifth Infantry, rose to 
the rank of a Captain In 1824, and a brevet Major In 1834, and died at Fort 
Winnebago, Wisconsin. February 18th, 183G. L. C. D. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 133 

moved their lodges into the Fort, and the wounded were car- 
ried into the hospital. 

Eight balls had been fired into the Chippewa lodge, and 
every one took effect The wounds were the most ghastly we 
ever saw made by bullets. The party had been lying or 
reclining, on their mats; for there is no standing in a Chip- 
pewa lodge. Consequently the balls passed through their 
limbs diagonally tearing and cutting more than it is usual for 
pieces of lead to do, though as ragged as chewing could make 
them. One woman was killed outright, one man was mortally, 
and another severely wounded, the latter being shot through 
both ankle joints and crippled forever. All the rest were wo- 
men and children,^ and more or less severely wounded. 

There was weeping and wailing in the Chippewa lodges that 
night. The noisy lamentations of the women broke the rest of 
the whole garrison ; but no one desired them to be silent, for the 
rudest soldier there respected the sincerity of their sorrow. 
Isever were Indian knives driven deeper into squaws' flesh in 
token of grief, than on that occasion. The practice of morti- 
fying the body, on the death of friends, seems to be, and to 
have been, common to all rude people. The Jews clothed 
themselves in sack-cloth, and threw asheg on their heads; 
Achilles refused to wash his face till the funeral rites had 
been performed over the body of Patroclus. !N'ow, the male 
Chippewas blackened their faces, indeed, but they did not gash 
their arms. A soldier, who spoke their language, asked them 
why they did not conform to the ancient usage of their nation. 
"Perhaps we shall have use for our guns to-morrow," replied 
the Little Soldier; '*we must lose no blood, though our hearts 
bleed, for we must be able to see straight over our gun 
barrels. ' ' 

The Little Soldier was right in his surmise and pi'^au- 
tion. At an early dawn, the commanding officer visited the 
wounded Chippewas, and asked them if they could recognize 
any of their aggressors, in case they should appear before them. 

1 "Among others," says Neill, "was a little girl about seven years old, who 
w»s pierced through both thighs with a bullet." L. C. D. 

134 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

Thej replied eagerly in tiie affirmative. He then asked them 
why they had not been more on their guard. "We respected 
your flag," replied the mortally wounded man, "and thought 
that our enemies would do the same." The Colonel then asked 
whether they had given the Dakotas any provocation? 
"iN'one," said the Chippewa, "but we endured much." He 
presented the peace-pipe which the Dakotas had brought with 
them, and said that the hair with which it was ornamented 
had belonged to a Chippewa head. We know not how he made 
the discovery, but it is well known to all who have lived on 
the frontier, that an Indian, on seeing a scalp, can tell, with 
unerring certainty, to what tribe it belongs. 

The wounded men were then, with their o^n joyful consent, 
placed on litters, and borne to the guard-house. The Dakota 
prisoners were paraded before them, and they identified two of 
the number as having belonged to the band of assassins. "I 
deliver them into your hands," said the Colonel to the Chippe- 
wa warriors; "they have deserved death, and you may inflict 
it, or not, as you think proper. If you do not, they must be tried 
by the laws which govern us Americans. I have no power to 
put them to death. You may let them go, if you please; I 
wash my hands of the matter." This speech was interpreted 
faithfully to the Chippewas, but none of them answered. In- 
stead of speaking, they examined the flints and priming of 
their guns. The Little Soldier drew from beneath his robe 
a few fathoms of cord, cut from an Elk skin, and presently se- 
cured the two criminals, fastening them together by the elbows. 
It was observed that he drew his knots rather tighter than was 
absolutely necessary; but no one blamed him. The Dakotas 
were then led forth. As soon as they passed the gate, the 
Chippewas halted and cocked their guns, for their vengeance 
was growing impatient. 

"You must not shoot them under our walls," said one of 
the officers. 

"I hope you do not expect us to take them very far," re- 
plied a Chippewa. 

The procession then moved on. One of the Dakotas struck 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 135 

up the death song. The other attempted it, but did not suc- 
ceed; his voice sunk into a quaver of consternation. The 
Chippewas led them to a rising ground, about two furlongs 
from the Fort, there halted, and bade them run for their lives. 
They were not slow to obey the mandate, and their execu- 
tioners gave them thirty yards law. At that distance, six 
guns were discharged at them, and they fell dead. Instantly 
the prairie rang with the Chippewa cri de joie, and the exe- 
cutioners rushed towards the corpses, with their knives bared, 
yelling like fiends. Twice and thrice did each plunge his 
weapon into the bodies of the prostrate foes, and then wipe 
their blades on their face or blanket. One or two displayed a 
ferocity which those only who saw, can entirely realize. They 
drew their reeking knives through their lips, and exclaimed, 
with a smack, that they had never tasted any thing so good. 
An enemy^s blood was better than even fire-water. The whole 
party then spat upon the body of him who had feared his fate, 
and spurned it with their feet. They had not tasted his blood: 
It would, they said, have made their hearts weak. To him 
who had sung his death song, they offered no indignity. On 
the contrary, they covered him with a new blanket. They 
then returned to the Fort. 

The Colonel met them at the gate. He had prevented all 
over whom his authority extended from witnessing the scene 
just described, and had done his best to make the execution the 
exclusive business of the Chippewas. He now told them that 
the bodies of the slain must not be suffered to remain upon his 
land, where the spectacle might grieve the Dakotas who were 
innocent of their crime. The party retired, and proceeded to 
the slaughter-ground. They took the dead Dakotas by their 
heels, trailed them over the earth to the bluff, and there threw 
them over a perpendicular precipice a hundred and fifty feet 
high. The bodies splashed and sank, and nothing more was 
ever seen or heard of them. 

Among the Dakotas detained in the guard-house was an old 
man named Kho-ya-paj or The EagWs Head. We knew him 
well — ^he once cheated us out of a considerable amount of 

136 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. v. 

inercliandise ; but it was in tlie way of trade, all fair, according 
to the Indian ethics, and we bear him no malice. He had not 
slept during the night, but had tramped up and down the 
floor deeply agitated, ' to the extreme disturbance of the 
soldiers. One of those who were put to death^ was his nephew. 
When this young man was designatel by the wounded Chip- 
pewas as one of the assassins, and led forth to suffer death, his 
tears flowed; and when he heard the report of the guns which 
ended him, his emotions became uncontrollable. He immedi- 
ately sent for the commanding officer. 

^Tather,'' said he, ^'the band of the Batture aux Fievres are 
bad people. They are always getting themselves into trouble, 
and others are always sure to suffer with them. It was foolish 
to shoot the Chippewa last year, but they did it, and perhaps 
one of my grand-children will be scalped for it. What they 
have just done was a folly. They persuaded my nephew to 
join them, and he is dead. Let them take the consequences of 
their own act themselves this time. I know where I can find 
two more of them, and if you will let me out, I will bring 
them to you, and you may put them to death, as they deserve, 
or spare themi — as you please. If you slay them, I shall be 
glad ; if you let them go, I shall be sorry. They ought not to 
be suffered to bring the whole nation into disgrace and 

"If the Colonel lets him out, I wonder when we shall see 
him again," said one of the guard to another. 

The Colonel knew the Dakota character better. "How 
long," said he to Kho-ya-pa, "will it be before you return with 
the man-slayers ?" 

"By sun-set to-morrow night," replied the Eagle-Head, "I 
will be before your gate, and if I come alone, you may give 
my body to the Chippewas." 

The sun was high in the heavens when the Eagle-Head 
departed, with his gun in his hand, and his knife and toma- 
hawk in his belt. It is sixty miles from St. Peters to the Bat- 
ture aux Fievres, and he arrived there early the next morning, 
having slept an hour or two in the woods near the village. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 137 

He went straight to the ludge of Sa-gan-do-shee, or The Eng- 
lishnun, for so was the father of Too-pun-kah Zeze named. 
The family were already awake, and the murderer was relat- 
ing his exploit with great glee when Kho-ya-pa entered. 

^'You have acted like a dog/' said the old man to Too-pun- 
kah Zeze. "So have you/' he added, turning to the other as- 
sassin. "Some one must die for what you have done, and it 
will he better that your lives be taken, than that others should 
die for your folly. There are no worse men than yourselves 
in our nation. I tell you, you must die. Kise and go with 
me, like men, or I will kill you like dogs where you sit." 

So saying, the old man cocked his gim, and drew his toma- 
hawk from his belt. The women began to scream and scold. 
The Englishman's brow grew dark, but no opposition was 
offered. Perhaps the men were afraid to harm the Eagle- 
Head, for though he was not recognized as a chief, his sons 
and sons-in-law were many, and his influence was considerable. 
Any one who should have harmed him would have certainly 
suffered for it. Besides, his reputation as an upright and 
valiant man was high; he was tall and erect, and age had not 
withered his muscles and sinews. "Whatever motives might 
have restrained the families of the criminals from opposing 
the aged warrior, Too-pun-kah Zeze showed no disposition to 
disobey him. He rose with the utmost alacrity, handed the 
Eagle-Head a rope, and tended his arms to be tied. When 
he was secured, he requested his father to thrust sharp oaken 
splinters through the muscular parts of his arms, that the 
Americans might see that he cared not for pain. The Eng- 
lishman, his father, complied, without uttering a syllable! 

The other criminal was pale, trembled, and seemed wholly 
stupefied by terror. However, he submitted passively to be 
tied, "i^ow," said the Eagle-Head, "start — walk before me, 
and that briskly, for you must die at the American Eort before 
sun-set, and it is a long distance." 

Just before sun-set that day, the Colonel and another officer 
were standing at the gate of the Fort. "It is late,'^ said the 
latter, "and our old friend does not show himself yet. I do 

138 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

not think he will. He would certainly be a fool to come back 
to what he thinks certain danger; for he had nothing to do 
with the murder." 

"If I had kept him/' replied the commanding officer, "no 
good could have come of it. He was innocent and could not 
have been convicted, supposing that any of our courts may be 
competent to try him. I believed that he would keep his word 
and bring the real criminals, and I have no doubt about the 
propriety of the course I shall adopt with them. I trust the 
Eagle-Head yet; and, by heaven! he deserves to be ti-usted 
— ^look! there he comes, driving the two black sheep before 
him." Indeed, the old man and his prisoners came in sight at 
that moment. They soon arrived at the gate. "Here they 
are, father," said the Eagle-Head; "take them, and kill 
them, and if that is not enough for the safety of my people, 
take my life too — I throw away my body freely." The white 
chief told Kho-ya-pa that he was at liberty from that mo- 
ment, and made him a liberal present, after which the old man 
withdrew. A hasty council was then held with the Chippewas, 
to whom the victims were tendered, as the two first had 

By this time a considerable number of the Dakotas had as- 
sembled about the prisoners. "You must die now," said one 
man, "the white chief has given you to the enemy." "I 
know it," replied Too-pun-kah Zeze, "and I am ready. I 
shall fall like a man. Bear witness of it. Here, Palling 
Leaf, take my blanket — I shall have no use for it. Take my 
ear-rings. Gray Woman." He sat down upon the ground and 
with the aid of others, divested himself of his ornaments and 
apparel, which he distributed to those who stood nighest. His 
dauntless mien, and handsome person, made the w^hites who 
looked on, sorry for him. He was in the bloom of youth, not 
above twenty, at most, six feet high, and formed after Nature's 
best model. Stain the Belvidere Apollo with walnut juice, 
and it will be an exact likeness of Too-pun-kah Zeze. He 
refused to part wdth the two eagles' feathers. One of them he 
had not yet worn two days, he said, and he would not part 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 139 

-witli them. The Chippewas would see that a warrior was 
about to die. 

The companion of Too-pun-kah Zeze followed his example 
in giving away his clothing, quite mechanically, it seemed. It 
was evident, though he did not speak, that he was not equal to 
the circumstances in which he was placed. He was a villain- 
ous looking fellow ; such a man, indeed, as a despotic sovereign 
would hang for his countenance. He had the most hideous 
hare-lip that we ever saw, and was thence called by the Dako- 
tas The Split Upper Lip. He was known to most of the 
white men present as a notorious thief, a character very im- 
common among Indian men, though not among Indian women. 

The Chippewa Chief, Flat Mouth, thus addressed the com- 
manding officer: 

"Pather, we have lost one life, and it is certain that one 
more will die of his wounds. We have already taken life for 
life, and it is all that our customs require. Father, do not 
think that I do not love our people whose blood has been shed. 
I would fain kill every one of the nah-too-es-sie tribe to re- 
venge them, but a wise man should be prudent in his revenge. 
Father, we Sandy Lake Chippewas are a small, a very small 
band, and we are ill-armed. If we provoke the naJi-too-es-sies 
too far, they will come to our country in a body, and we are 
not able to resist them. Father, I am a very little, weak chief 
— (the varlet spoke falsely, for he was the biggest and most 
corpulent Indian we ever saw). Father, we have already had 
life for life, and I am satisfied." 

Up started the Little Soldier, with fire in his eye. He 
was properly named, being a very little man, almost a dwarf. 
Yet he was thick set, active and muscular, and his spirit was 
great. Little as he was, he enjoyed the repute of being the 
bravest and most successful warrior of Sandy Lake. He it 
waSj whose brother had been slain the year before at the mur- 
der pole. 

"Our father, with the Flat Mouth, says that he is satisfied,'' 
said the Little Soldier. ''So am not I. We have had life 

140 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

for life, as he says, but I am not satisJied. This man, (point- 
ing to Too-pnn-kah Zeze,) shot my brother last year, and the 
sun has not yet set twice since he shot my wife also. This 
other aided him. They deserve to die, and they shall die. 
Hoh!'' he added to the prisoners, signifying that they must 

Too-pun-kah Zeze sprimg to his feet, and began to sing 
his death song. It was something like the following, many 
times repeated: 

"I must die, I must die, 
But willingly I fall. 
They can take from me but one life : 
But I have taken two from them. 
Two for one, two for onei, two for one, &c." 

The Split Lip was wholly unable to imitate his brave com- 
panion;. He burst into tears, and piteously implored the com- 
manding officer to spare his life. He did not deserve to die, 
he said, for he was not guilty. He had killed no one — ^his 
gun had missed fire. 

Here Too-pun-kah Zeze ceased singing, and indignantly 
interrupted him: "You lie, dog! Coward, old woman, you 
know that you lie ! You know that you are as guilty as I am ! 
Hold your peace, and die like a man! — die like me!" Then 
turning his face away with an expression of exceeding con- 
tempt, he recommenced — 

"Two for one, two for one" — 

and strode dragging the Split Lip after him. 

Arriving at the place of execution, the Chippewas gave 
them law — thirty paces start — and fired. The Split Lip was 
shot dead on the spot. Too-pun-kah. Zeze was also stricken 
through the body, but did not fall. One bullet had cut the 
rope which bound him to his companion, and he instantly 
started forward with as good speed as if he had been wholly 
unhurt. A shout of joy arose from a neighboring copse where 
a few Dakotas had hid themselves to witness the spectacla 
Their joy was of short duration. The Little Soldier's gun 
had missed fire, but he picked up his flint and leveled again. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 141 

Toopun-kah Zeze had gotten a hundred and fifty yards from 
his foes, when the second bullet struck and killed him in- 

After this catastrophe, all the Dakotas quitted the vicinity 
of Fort Snelling, and did not return to it for some months. 
It was said that they formed a conspiracy to demand a council, 
and kill the Indian Agent and the commanding officer.^ If 
tliis was a fact, they had no opportunity, or wanted the spirit, 
to execute their purpose. 

The Flat Mouth's band lingered in the Fort till their 
wounded comrade died. He was sensible of his condition, 
and bore his pains with great fortitude." AYhen he felt his end 
approach, he desired that his horse might be gaily caparisoned, 
and brought to the hospital window, so that he might touch 
the animal. He then took from his medicine bag a large cake 
of maple sugar, and held it forth. It may seem strange, but it 
is true, that the beast ate it from his hand. His features were 
radiant with delight as he fell back on the pillow exhausted; 
his horse had eaten the sugar, he said, and he was sure of a 
favorable reception, and comfortable quarters in the other 
world. Half an hour after he breathed his last. We tried to 
discover the details of his superstition, but could not succeed. 
It is a subject on which Indians im willingly discourse. 

For a short time after the execution of Too-pun-kah Zeze 
and his accomplices, the Indian country remained quiet. The 
Dakotas avoided all intercourse with the whites. They were 
angry at the death of their fellows, indeed, and spoke of ven- 
geance among themselves; but they either were convinced of 
the justice of what had been done, or knew the superior force 
of the whites too well to think of taking any active measures.^ 

^Lawbexce Taxiafebbo, a native of Virginia, and an ofllcer during the war 
of 1812-15, tiad been Indian Agent at St. Peter's, or at Fort Sueiliu^', since 
1820; and Colonel Josiah Snelling, w»s tha ttireatened commanding of- 
ficer. L- C. D. 

*Gen. Smith, In his History of Wisconsin, committed a sad mistake in stat- 
ing that the four Indians surrendered to the chippewas for summary punish- 
ment were Winnebagoes, which led to the resentment of Red Bibd and his 
people. Gen. Smith has recorded his opinion, that Col. Snelling surrendered 
the Indians to the Chippewas "certainly with great imprudence." Yet we 
must say, that it was, under the circumstances, eminently justifiable ; that 
some such firmness was called for, in order to maintain the dignity and 
authority of the Government. 

Col. Joslah Snelling was a native of Massachusetts, born In 1782 ; entered the 

1^2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

However, they resolved to make cat's paws of the Winneba- 
goes, who were, and are, of much more decided character than 
themselves. The tribe, as their traditions say, were driven 
from Mexico by the companions of Cortez, or their successors. 
The tradition is probably correct in point of fact; for they 
state that they resisted all attempts to expel them from their 
native land, till the white invaders hunted them with dogs of 
uncommon size and ferocity; probably these were the blood- 
hounds since employed to subdue the Maroons in Jamaica. 
The Dakotas have a similar tradition. Be that as it may, the 
Winnebagoes retained an inveterate antipathy to the Mexican 
Spaniards, till very lately. They have now transferred it to 
the people of the United States. Some old men among them 
still remember the excursions they were wont to make in their 
youth, to the borders of Mexico, whence they brought horses, 
captives, &c. These people have more courage, and more na- 
tional character, than any tribe of the iSTorth West. Drunken- 
ness is not so common among them as among other tribes, and 
they are not so fond of mixing blood with the whites. 

A good many of them joined the confederacy of Tecumseh, 
and sixty of their best and bravest warriors were killed at 
Tippecanoe. Several years since, when the Fifth United States 
Eegiment of Infantry ascended the Mississippi, they halted 
at Prairie du Chien, where they were visited by a great many 
Winnebagoes. An aged warrior accosted Captain Gooding,^ 
as he landed on the beach, and offered him his hand. "I 
think," said the Winnebago, "that I could tell what ails your 
neck, that you have such a great scar upon itt" "Probably 
you could," replied the Captain; "you may have reason to 
know that there is a Winnebago bullet in my flesh." "Aye," 
retorted the savage, "and 1 could tell you who put it in. But 

Captain, in 1800 distinguished himself at the battle of Tippecanoe in November, 
1811 ; was brevetted Major for meritorious services in the battle of Browns- 
town, In August, 1812 ; distinguished in the affair at Lyon's Creek under Gen. 
Bissell ; and was successively Inspector General, Lieutenant Colonel, and 
Colonel ; took command, in 1820, at Fort Snelling, and died in Washington 
City, August 20, 1828. L. C. D. 

^Capt Geo. Gooding, of Massachusetts, entered the service, In 1808, as an 
ensign; promoted to Second Lieutenant, in 1810; was wounded in the battle of 
Tippecanoe, in 1811 ; promoted to a First Lieutenant, in 1812, and a Captain, 
In 1814; he was disbanded In 1821, and was Sutler ot Prairie du Chien from 
September, is"21, till 1827, and subsequently died. L. C. D. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 143 

you are a brave man, and we are all friends now." Appar- 
ently tlie old man considered this reminiscence an excellent 
jest, for he laughed heartily. 

'No tribe consider revenge a more sacred duty than the Win- 
nebagoes. It was their ancient custom to take five lives for 
One, and it is notorious on the frontiers, that no blood of theirs 
has been shed, even in modem days, that has not been fully 
avenged. They used, too, to wear some part of the body of a 
slain enemy about them as a testimonial of prowess. We well 
remember a grim Winnebago, who was wont to present him- 
self before the whites, who passed the Portage of the Fox and 
Wisconsin Rivers, with a human hand hanging on his breast. 
He had taken it from a Yankee soldier at Tippecanoe. 

It was not difficult to stir up such a people to hostility, and, 
moreover, circumstances favored the design of the Dakotas. 
There is, or was, a village of Winnebagoes on the Black River, 
not far from the Dakota to^^^l of which Wa-ba-shaw is chief. 
The two tribes are descended from the same stock, as their 
languages abundantly prove, and the claims of common origin 
have been strenghtened by frequent intermarriages. Xow, it 
happened, that at the time when Too-pun-kah Zeze was put 
to death at Port Snelling, the Red-Bird was absent from his 
Winnebago village, on an expedition against the Chippewas. 
He returned unsuccessful, and, consequently, sullen and mal- 
content. Till this time, he had been noted among his tribe for 
liis friendly disposition towards the ''men with hats," as the 
Indians call the whites, and among the traders, for his scrupu- 
lous honesty. However, this man, from whom no white per- 
son beyond the frontier would have anticipated injury, was 
easily induced to commit a bloody and unprovoked outrage. 

Certain Dakota ambassadors arrived at the Red-Bird's vil- 
lage, with a lie in their mouths. "You have become a by- 
word of reproach among us," said they; "you have just given 
the Chippewas reason to laugh at you, and the Big Knives also 
laugh at you. Lo! while they were among you, they dared 
not offend you, but now they have caused Wa-man-goos-ga- 
ra-ha and his companion to be put to death, and they have 

144 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

cut their bodies into pieces not bigg'er than the spots in a bead 
garter." The tale was believed, and a crj for vengeance arose 
throughout the village. It was decided that something must 
be done, and the Dakota envoys promised to lend a helping 

A few days before, two keel-boats had ascended the river, 
laden with provisions for the troops at Fort Snelling. They 
passed the mouth of Black Kiver with a full sheet, so that a 
few Winnebagoes, who were there encamped, had some diffi- 
culty in reaching them with their canoes. They might have 
taken both boats, for there were but three fire-locks on board; 
nevertheless, they offered no injury. They sold fish and 
venison to the boatmen, on amicable terms, and suffered them 
to pursue their journey unmolested. We mention this trifling 
circumstance, merely because it was afterwards reported in the 
St. Louis papers, that the crews of these boats had abused 
these Winnebagoes shamefully, which assuredly was not the 
case.* The wind died away before the boats reached the vil- 
lage of Wa-ba-shaw,t which is situated on the west baiUv of 
the Mississippi, twelve or fifteen miles above the mouth of 
Black Eiver. Here the Dakotas peremptorily commanded 
them to put ashore, which they did. Xo reason was assigned 
for the order. Upwards of five hundred warriors immediately 
crowded on board. A passenger who was well acquainted 
with the Dakotas, observed that they brought no women with 
them as usual; that they were painted black — which signifies 
either grief or hostility ; that they refused to shake hands with 
the boatmen; and that their speech was brief and sullen. He 
instantly communicated his observations to Mr. Lindsay, who 
commanded the boats, and advised him to push on, before 
the savages should have discovered that the party were wholly 

•To page 162, vol. li, of our Collections, we appended a note from Gov. 
Reynolds'3 Life and Times, which probably embodied the newspaper accounts of 
the pretended "shameful abuse of the Winnebagoes" — that the crews of these 
boats, on their upward trip, had stopped at a Winnebago camp, got them ail 
drunli, and then forced six or seven stupefied squaws on board for corrupt and 
brutal purposes, and kept them during the voyage to Fort Snelling, and on 
their return. Hence the attack on the boats by the Winnebagoes when they 
became sober and conscious of the iniquity done them. But this emphatic 
denial by Mr. Snelling, of this infamous charge, and the fact that Judge 
Lockwood, in his narrative, and of Gen. Smith and Mr. Neill in their Histories, 
are silent on the subject, should brand it as utterly without foundation. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 145 

•anarmed. Lindsay, a bold-hearted Kentuckian, assumed tlie 
tone of command, and peremptorily ordered the Dakotas 
ashore. They, probably, thought that big words would be 
seconded with hard blows, and complied. The boats pushed 
on, several Indians pursued them along the shore for several 
miles, with speech of taunt and defiance, but they offered no 
further molestation. 

The Dakota villages* higher up showed much ill-will, but 
no disposition, or rather no courage, to attack. Altogether 
appearances were so threatening, that on his arrival at Fort 
Snellin^, Mr. Lindsay communicated what he had seen to the 
commanding officer, and asked that his crew should be fur- 
nished with arms and ammunition. The request was 
granted; his thirty-two men were provided with thirty-two 
muskets, and a barrel of ball-cartridges. Thus secured against 
attack the boats commenced the descent of the river. 

In the meanwhile, the Ked Bird had cogitated upon what 
he had heard, every tittle of which he believed, and had come 
to the conclusion, that the honor of his race required the blood 
of two Americans at least. He, therefore, got into his canoe, 
with Wekaw, or The Sun, and two others, and paddled to 
Prairie Du Chien. When he got there he waited upon Mr. 
Boilvin, in the most friendly manner, and begged to be re- 
garded as one of the staunchest friends of the Americans. 
The venerable Agent admitted his claims, but absolutely re- 
fused to give him any whiskey. The Winnebago Chief then 
applied to a trader in the town, who relying on his general 
good character, did not hesitate to furnish him with an eight 
gallon keg of spirits, the value of which was to be paid in furs, 
in the succeeding autumn. 

There was an old colored woman in the village, whose five 
sons had never heard that they were inferior beings, either 
from the Indians or the Canadian French. Therefore, having 
never considered themselves degraded, they were not degraded ; 
on the contrary, they ranked with the most respectable in- 

Red Wing and Kaposia, says Nelll. 

L. C. D. 

146 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. 7. 

habitants of the place. We knew them well. One of them 
was the village blacksmith; the others were substantial farm- 
ers. Their father was a Frenchman, and their name was 

One of these men owned a farm three miles from Prairie 
Du Chien, where he lived with his wife, who was a white wo- 
man, two children, and a hired man named Lipcap. Thither 
the Eed Bird repaired 'with, his three companions, sure of a 
fair reception, for Eegistre Gagnier had always been noted for 
his humanity to the poor, especially the Indians. 

Registre Gagnier invited his savage visitors to enter, hung 
the kettle over the fire, gave them to eat, and smoked the pipe 
of peace v^rith them. The Red Bird was the last man on earth 
whom he would have feared; for they were well acquainted 
with each other, and had reciprocated good offices. The In- 
dians remained several hours under Gagnier' s hospitable roof. 
At last, when the farmer least expected it, the Winnebago 
Chief leveled his gun, and shot him down dead on his hearth- 
stone. Lipcap was slain at the same instant by Wekaw. Ma- 
dam Gagnier turned to fly w^ith her infant of eighteen months. 
As she was about to leap through the window, the child was 
torn from her arms by Wekaw, stabbed^ scalped and thrown 
violently on the floor, as dead. The murderer then attacked 
the woman; but gave way when she snatched up a gun that 
was leaning against the wall, and presented it to his breast. 
She then effected her escape. Her eldest son, a lad of ten 
years, also shunned the murderers, and they both arrived in 
the village at about the same time. The alarm was soon given 
but when the avengers of blood arrived at poor Registre Gag- 
nier's house, they found in it nothing living but his mangled 
infant It was carried to the village, and, strange as it may 
seem, recovered.* 

The Eed Bird and his companions immediately proceeded 
from the scene of their crime to the rendezvous of their band. 
During their absence, thirty-seven of the warriors, who acknowl- 

•Gen. Smith, on the authority of Judge Doty, states that this tragedy oc- 
curred oa the 28th of June, 1827 ; Judge Lockwood says the 26th, and Niles 
Register says the 24th. Neill follows Lockwood's chronology. L. C. D. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 147 

edged the authority of Red Bird, had assembled, with their 
wives and children, near the mouth of Bad Axe River. They 
received the murderers with exceeding great joy, and loud ap- 
probation of their exploit. The keg of liquor was inmiedi- 
ately set abroach, the Red ^Alen began to drink, and, as their 
spirits rose, to boast of what they had already done, and in- 
tended to do. Two days did they continue to revel; and on 
the third, the source of their excitement gave out. They 
T7ere, at about four in the afternoon, dissipating the last fumes 
of their excitement in the scalp dance, when they descried one 
of the keel-boats before mentioned, approaching. Forthwith 
a proposal to take her, and massacre the crew, was made, and 
carried by acclamation. They coimted upon doing this with- 
out risk; for they had examined her on the way up, and sup- 
posed that there were no arms on board. 

Mr. Lindsay's boats had descended the river together as far 
as the village of Wa-ba-shaw, where they expected an attack. 
The Dakotas on shore were dancing the war-dance, and hailed 
their approach with insults and menaces; but did not, never- 
theless, offer to obstruct their passage. The whites now sup- 
posed the danger over^ and a strong wind at that moment be- 
ginning to blow up stream, the boats parted company. That 
which sat deepest in the water had the advantage of the under 
current, and, of course, gained several miles in advance of the 

So strong was the wind, that all of the force of sweeps could 
scarcely stem it, and, by the time the foremost boat was near 
the encampment, at the mouth of the Bad Axe, the crew were 
very willing to stop and rest. One or two Frenchmen, or half- 
breeds, who were on board, observed hostile appearances on 
shore, and advised the rest to keep the middle of the stream; 
but their counsel was disregarded. Most of the crew were 
Americans, who, as usual with our countrymen, combined a 
profound ignorance of Indian character with a thorough 
contempt for Indian prowess. They urged the boat directly 
toward the camp, with all the force of the sweeps. There 
"were sixteen men on deck. It may be well to observe here, 

148 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voir. 

that this, like all keel-boats used in the Mississippi valley, was 
built almost exactly on the model of the Erie and ]\Iiddlesex 
canal boats. 

The men were rallying their French companions on their 
apprehensions, and the boat" was within thirty yards of the 
shore, when suddenly the trees and rocks rang with the blood- 
chilling, ear-piercing tones of the war-whoop, and a volley of 
rifle balls rained upon the deck. Happily, the Winnebagoes 
had not yet recovered from the effects of their debauch, and 
their arms were not steady. One man only fell by their fire. 
He was a little negro named Peter. His leg was dreadfully 
shattered, and he afterwards died of the wound. Then Peter 

began to curse and to swear, d g his fellows for leaving 

him to be shot at like a Christmas turkey; but finding that 
his reproaches had none effect, he also managed to drag him- 
self below. All this passed in as little time as it will take to 
read this paragraph. 

Presently a voice hailed the boat in the Sac tongue, demand- 
ing to know if the crew were English? A half-breed Sac, 
named Beauchamp, answered in the affirmative. "Then,'' 
said the querist, "come on shore, and we will do you no harm, 
for we are your brethren, the Sacs.'' ^^Bog," retorted Beau- 
.champ, "no Sac would attack us thus cowardly. If you want 
us on shore, you must come and fetch us." 

With that, a second volley came from the shore; but as the 
men were now lying prone in the bottom of the boat, below 
the water line, they all escaped but one. One man, an Ameri- 
can, named Stewart, fell. He had risen to return the first 
fire, and the muzzle of his musket protruding through a loop- 
hole, showed some Winnebago where to aim. The bullet 
struck him under the left arm, and passed directly through his 
heart. He fell dead, with his finger on the trigger of his un- 
discharged gun. It was a hot day, and before the fight was 
over, the scent of the gunpowder could not overpower the 
stench of the red puddle aroimd him. 

♦This advance boat was the Oliver H. Perry according to Gen. Smith's Hist. 
Wisconsin. L. C. D. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 149 

The Winnebagoes encouraged bv the non-resistance, now 
rushed to their canoes_, with intent to board. One venerable 
old man endeavored to dissuade them. He laid hold on one 
of the canoes, and would, perhaps, have succeeded in retain- 
ing it; but in the heat of his argument, a ball from the boat 
hit him on the middle finger of the peace-making hand. Very 
naturally enraged at such unkind treatment from his friends, 
he loosed the canoe, hurried to his wigwam for his gam, and 
took an active part in the remainder of the action. In the 
mean while, the white men had recovered from their first 
panic, and seized their arms. The boarders were received with 
a very severe discharge. In one canoe, two savages were killed 
with the same bullet. Their dying struggles upset the canoe, 
and the rest were obliged to swim on shore, where it was some 
time before they could restore their arms to fighting order. 
Several more were wounded, and those who remained unhurt, 
put back, satisfied that a storm was not the best mode of attack. 

Two, however, persevered. They were together in one 
canoe, and approached the boat astern, where there were no 
holes through which the whites could fire upon them. They 
soon leaped on board. One seized the long steering oar, or 
rudder. The other jumped upon deck, where he halted, and 
discharged five muskets, which had been left there by the 
crew fled below, through the deck into the bottom of the 
boat. In this manner he wounded one man very severely. 
After this exploit, he hurried to the bow, where he seized a 
long pole, and, with the assistance of the steersman, succeeded 
in groimding the boat on a sand-bar, and fixing her fast under 
t]je fire of his people. The two Winnebago boatmen then be- 
gan to load and fire, to the no small annoyance of the crew. 
He at the stem, was soon dispatched. One of the whites ob- 
served his position through a crack, and gave him a mortal 
wound through the boards. Still, he struggled to get over- 
board, probably to save his scalp. But his struggles were 
feeble, and a second bullet terminated them before he could 
effect his object. After the fight was over, the man who slew 
him took his scalp. 

150 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

The bow of the boat was open, and the warrior there still 
kept his station, out of sight, excepting when he stooped to 
fire^ which he did five times. His third shot broke the arm, 
and passed through the lungs, of the brave Beauchamp. At 
this sight, one or two began to speak of surrender. "Xo, 
friends," cried the dying man; ^^jou will not save your lives 
so. Fight to the last; for they will show no mercy. If they 
get the better of you, for God's sake throw me overboard. Do 
not let them get my hair." He continued to exhort them to 
resistance, as long as his breath lasted, and died with the words 
"fight on," on his lips. Before this time, however, his slayer 
had also taken his leave of life. A sailor, named Jack Mande- 
ville,* shot him through the head, and he fell overboard, car- 
rying his gun with him. 

From that moment Handeville assumed the command of the 
boat. A few had resolved to take the skiff, and leave the rest 
to their fate. They had already cast off the rope. Jack inter- 
posed, declaring that he would shoot the first man, and bayonet 
the second, who would persevere. They submitted. Two 
more had hidden themselves in the bow of the boat, out of 
sight, but not out of danger. After a while the old tar missed 
them, sought them, and compelled them by threats of instant 
death, enforced by pricks of his bayonet, to leave their hiding^ 
place, and take share in the business in hand. Afterwards 
they fought like bull dogs. It was well for them that Mande- 
ville acted as he did; for they had scarcely risen when a score 
of bullets, at least, passed through the place where they had 
been lying. 

After the two or three first volleys the fire had slackened, 
but it was not, therefore, the less dangerous. The Indiana 
had the advantage of superior numbers, and could shift their 
positions at pleasure. The whites were compelled to lie 
in the bottom of the boat, below the water mark, for its 
sides were without bulwarks. Every bullet passed 
through and through. It was only at intervals, and 
very warily, that they could rise to fire; for the flash of 

•This was the Saucy Jack mentioned by Judge Lockwood and Gov. Reynolds. 

L. C. D. 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 151 

every gun showed the position of the marksman^ and was in- 
stantly followed by the reports of two or three Indian rifles. 
On the other hand, they were not seen, and being thinly scat- 
tered over a large boat, the Winnebagoes could but guess their 
positions. The fire was, therefore, slow; for none, on either 
side, cared to waste ammunition. Thus for upwards of three 
hours, the boatmen lay in blood and bilge-water, deprived of 
the free use of their limbs, and wholly unable to extricate 

At last, as the night fell, Mandev'ille came to the conclu- 
sion that darkness would render the guns of his own party 
wholly useless, while it would not render the aim of the Win- 
nebagoes a jot less certain. He, therefore, as soon as it was 
dark, stoutly called for assistance, and sprang into the water. 
Four more followed him. The balls rained around them, 
passing through their clothes ; but they persisted, and the boat 
was soon afloat. Seeing their prey escaping the Winneba- 
goes raised a yell of mingled rage and despair, and gave the 
whites a farewell volley. It was returned, with three hearty 
cheers, and ere a gun could be re-loaded, the boat had floated 
out of shooting distance. 

For half the night, a wailing voice, apparently that of an 
old man, was heard, following the boat, at a safe distance, 
Low^ever. It was conjectured that it was the father of him 
whose body the boat was bearing away. Subsequent inquiry 
proved this supposition to be correct. 

Thirty-seven Indians were engaged in this battle, seven of 
whom were killed, and fourteen were wounded. They man- 
aged to put six hundred and ninety-three balls into and through 
the boat. Two of the crew were killed outright, two mortally, 
and two slightly wounded."^ Jack Mandeville's courage and 
presence of mind undoubtedly saved the rest, as well as the 
boat; but we have never heard that he was rewarded in any 
way or shape. 

•Lockwood's Narrative also states that two whites were killed and four 
wounded ; while Gen. Smith asserts, that the engagement lasted three hours, 
two whites killed and six wounded, and that it was supposed ten or twelve 
Indians were killed, and «b great number wounded. L. C. D. 

152 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

Mr. Lindsay's boat — the rear one, reached the mouth of the 
Bad Axe about midnight. The Indians opened a fire upon 
her, which was promptly returned. There was a light on 
board, at which the first gun was probably aimed, for that ball 
only hit the boat. All the rest passed over harmless in tho 

Great was the alarm at Prairie du Chien when the boats 
'arrived there. The people left their houses and farms, and 
crowded into the dilapidated Fort. ^Nevertheless, they showed 
much spirit, and speedily established a very effective discipline. 
An express was immediately sent to Galena, and another to 
Port Snelling, for assistance. A company of upwards of a 
hundred volunteers soon arrived from Galena, and the minds 
of the inhabitants were quieted. 

In a few days, four imperfect companies of the Fifth Infan- 
try arrived from Fort Snelling. The commanding officer or- 
dered a march on the Eed Bird's village; but as the volun- 
teers refused to obey, and determined to return home, he was 
obliged to countermand it. 

The consternation of the people of the Lead Mines was 
great. Full half of them fled from the country. Shortly 
after, however, when General Atkinson arrived ^Yi.t]l a full 
regiment, a considerable body of volunteers joined him from 
Galena, and accompanied him to the Portage of Wisconsin, to 
fight with or receive the submission of the Winnebag-oes. 

The Eed Bird there appeared, in all the paraphernalia of an 
Indian Chief and warrior, and surrendered himself to justice, 
together with his companions in the murder of Gagnier, and 
one of his band, who had taken an active part in the attack on 
the boats. They were incarcerated at Prairie du Chien. A 
dreadful epidemic broke out there about this time, and he died 
in prison. He knew that his death was certain, and did not 
shrink from it. 

•It is stated in Xeill's Minnesota, that among the passengers on Lindsay's 
boat was Joseph Snelling, a talented son of the Colonel, who wrote a story of 
deep interest, based on the facts narrated. This we presume was Wm. J. 
Snelling, the writer of this narrative. As for the date of the attack on these 
keel boats, Judge Lockwood gi%-es it as June 2Gth, which Xeill follows; Gen. 
Smith, on Judge Doty's authority, we presume, says the 30th. Whatever was 
the real date, one thing is quite certain, that the murder of Gagnier's family 
and the boat attack, transpired the same day, and the next day the first of the 

1867] Early Prairie du Chien 153 

In the course of a year, the people of the Lead Mines in- 
creased in number and in strength, and encroached upon the 
Winnebago lands. The Winnebagoes complained in vain. 
The next spring, the murderers of Methode, and the other In- 
dian prisoners, were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. 
A deputation of the tribe went to Washington to solicit their 
pardon. President Adams gi-anted it, on the implied condition 
that the tribe would cede the lands then in possession of the 
miners. The Winnebagoes have kept their word — the land has 
been ceded, and Madame Gagnier has been compensated for 
the loss of her husband, and the mutilation of her inf aat. We 
believe that she received, after waiting two years, the magnifi- 
cent sum of two thousand dollars." 

We will close this true account of life beyond the frontier, 
with an anecdote which plr.ces the Winnebago character in a 
more amiable light than anything already related. The mili- 
tia of Prairie du Chien, immediately after the affair of the 
boats, seized the old chief De Kau-ray — the who has 
aJready been mentioned. He was told that if the Red-Bird 
should not be given up within a certain time, he was to die 
in his stead. This he steadfastly believed. Finding that con- 
finement injured his health, he requested to be permitted to 
range the country on his parole. The demand was granted. 
He was bidden to go whither he pleased during the day, but 
at sun-set he was required to return to the Port on pain of 
being considered an old woman. He observed the condition 
religiously. At the first tap of the retreat, De Kau-ray was 
sure to present himself at the gate; and this he continued to 
do till General Atkinson set him at liberty. 

♦At the treaty held at Prairie du Chien with the Winnehagoes, in 1829, 
provision was made for two sections of land to Therese Gagnier and her two 
children, Francois and Louise ; and for the United States to pay Therese 
Gagnier the snm of fifty dollars per annum for fifteen years, to be deducted 
from the annuity to said Indians. L. C. D. 

154 Wisconsin Historical Collections [v-oi. v. 

Indian Honor: an Incident of 
the Winnebago War 

The following incident, found in the Western Courier , pub- 
lished at Eavenna, Ohio, February 2.6, 1830, was read hj the 
Secretary at a meeting of the Wisconsin Historical Society, in 
December, 1862: 

"There is no class of human beings on earth who hold a 
pledge more sacred and binding, than do the j^orth American 
Indians. An instance of this was witnessed during the Win- 
nebago war of 1827, in the person of De Kau-ray, a celebrated 
chief of that nation, who, with four other Indians of his tribe, 
was taken prisoner at Prairie dii Chien. Col. Suelling, of the 
Fifth Eegiment of Infantry, who then commanded that garri- 
son, dispatched a young Indian into the nation, ^vith orders 
to inform the other chiefs of De Kau-ray's band, that un- 
less those Indians who were the perpetrators of the horrid 
murders of some of our citizens, were brought to the Fort and 
given up within ten days, De Kau-ray and the other four 
Indians, who were retained as hostages, would be shot at the 
end of that time. The awful sentence was pronounced in the 
presence of De Kau-ray, who, though proclaiming his own 
innocence of the outrages which had been committed by others 
of his nation, declared that he feared not death, though it 
would be attended with serious consequences, inasmuch as he 
had two affectionate wives, and a large family of small chil- 
dren, who were entirely deipendent on him for their support; 
but, if necessary, he was willing to die for the honor of his 

"The young Indian had been gone several days, and no in- 
telligence was yet received from the murderers. The dreadful 
day being near at hand, and De Kau-ray being in a bad 
state, of health, asked permission of the Colonel to go to the 
river to indulge in his long-accustomed habit of bathing, in 


Winnebago War 


order to improve liis liealtli. Upon whichj Col. Snelling told 
him if he would promise, on the honor of a chief, that he 
would not leave the to^vn, he might have his liberty, and en- 
joy all his privileges, until the day of the appointed execu- 
tion. Accordingly, he first gave his hand to the Colonel, 
thanking him for his friendly offer, then raised both his hands 
aloft, and in the most solemn adjuration, promised that he 
would not leave the bounds prescribed, and said if he had a 
hundred lives, he would sooner lose them all than forfeit his 
word, or deduct from his proud nation one particle of its 
boasted honor. He was then set at liberty. He was advised 
to flee to the mlderness, and make his escape. ^But no,^ 
said he 'do you think I prize life above honor? Or, that I 
woidd betray a confidence reposed in me, for the sake of sav- 
ing my life V He then complacently remained until nine days 
of the ten which he had to live had elapsed, and nothing 
heard from the nation with regard to the apprehension of the 
murderers, his immediate death became apparent; but no al- 
teration could be seen in the countenance of the chief. It so 
happened that on that day Gen. Atkinson arrived with his 
troops from Jefferson Barracks, and the order for the execu- 
tion was countermanded, and the Indians permitted to repair 
to their home.''* 

*The De Kau-ray mentioned in ttiis narrative was the "grand old chief" 
whose Indian name was Scha-chip-ka-ka. or Ko-no-kah De Kau-ray. or The 
Eldest De Kau-ray, who died on the Wisconsin River, April 20. lS3t>, in his 
ninetieth year. Col. D. M. Parkinson, in speaking of the events of tne sum- 
mer of 1827. in his paper on Pioneer Life in Wisconsin, published in the third 
volume of Wisconsin Historical Collections, says: "At the time of. our arrival 
at Prairie du Chien, the citizens had in their custody, as hostages for the good 
conduct of their nation, three Indians, one of whom was the well known chief 
De Kau-ray. He disclaimed on the part of his nation, as a whole, any inten- 
tion to engage in hostilities with the whites ; he was, however, retained some 
time as a hostage before being released." In the second volume of the same 
Collections, page 167, Judge Lockwood probably refers to De Kau-ray's captivity. 
Neill, page 397, mentions it ; and Col. Snelling, in his reminiscences, speaks 
more fully of it than any other writer, except the one who has anonymously 
left us this paper on Indian Honor. 

It is frequently exceedingly difficult to trace Indian chiefs by their signatures 
as appended to treaties, so various is the spelling of their names by the different 
secretaries employed on those occasions. Chou-ke-ka, The Spoon, or De Kau-ray, 
signed the treaty of 1816— the same mentioned by Augustin Grignon. in the third 
volume of Collections a-9 Chou-ga-rah, or Tlie Ladle—the son of a French trader 
De Kau-ray, and the father of the War-Eagle and his brothers. 

HELT-SHAn-WAC-SAiP-SHAW-KAW, or The War-Eagle, or in simpler orthog- 
raphy, SCHA-CHIP-KA-KA, Signed the treaties of 1828. 1829 and 1832. Mrs. 
KixziE, who knew him personally, describes him as "the most noble, dignified 
and venerable of his own, or, indeed, of any other tribe. His fine Roman 
countenance, rendered still more striking by his bald head, with one solitary 
tuft of long silvery hair, neatly tied, lulling back on his shoulders; his per- 
fectly neat, appropriate dress, almost without ornament, and his courteous de- 
meanor, never laid aside, under any circumstances, all combined to give him 
the highest place in the consideration of all who knew him. His traits of 
character were not less grand and striking, than were his per.sonal appearance 

156 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. t. 

The Winnebago Outbreak 

In a speech, Gen. Lewis Cass, at Burlington, Iowa, in June, 
1855, made the following reference to the Winnebago out- 
break in 1827: 

"Twenty-eight years have elapsed,'' said the venerable states- 
man, "since I passed along the borders of this beautiful Stat©. 
^Time and chance happen to all men/ says the writer of old. 
And time and chance have happened to me, since I first be- 
came identified with the West. In 1827 I heard that the 
Winnebagoes had assumed an attitude of hostility toward the 
whites, and that great fear and anxiety prevailed among the 
border settlers of the Northwestern frontier. I w^ent to Green 
Bay, where I took a canoe vdth twelve voyageurs and went up 
the Fox river and passed over the Portage into the Wisconsin. 
We went down the Wisconsin imtil we met an ascending boat 
in the charge of Bamsay Crooks, who was long a resident of 
the Northwest. Here we ascertained that the Winnebagoes had 
assumed a hostile attitude, and that the settlers of Prairie du 
Chien .were apprehensive of being suddenly attacked and mas- 
sacred. After descending about seventy miles farther, we came 
in sight of the Winnebago camp. It was situated upon a high 
prairie, not far from the river, and as he approached the shore 
he saw the women and children running across the prairie, in 
ar opposite direction, which he knew to be a bad sign. After 
reaching the shore he went up to the camp. At first the In- 
dians were sullen; particularly the young men. He talked 

A cousin of the Wab-Eagle was Wac-Kaux-IIah-kaw, or Snake Skin, com- 
monly called Wau-kox, or Washixgton De Kad-eat. The word icau-kon in 
Chippewa means devil. Wau-kox De Kad-ray was a signer of the treaties of 
1829 and 1832. He is still living at an advanced age. 

Gen. H. L. Dousmax, a resident of Prairie du Chien since 1826, states in a 
letter to the Secretary of the Society : "Mr. Rolette and all the old traders 
in the country, when I first came here, told me that the commonly pronounced 
name of De Kau-ray had its French origin ii< Descarie. Old Gray-IIaired 
D» Kac-ray, and others of the family, you know, had a good deal of white 
blood in them. Old Gray-Haired De Kau-ray had his village near the Wis- 
consin Portage; Wau-.kawn Hau-kuu, or Snake-Skin, commonly called Wad-kon 
Db Kac-ray, the principal speaker or orator of the Winnebago nation, had 
hia village on the Mississippi, about thirty miles above Prairie du Chien ; and 


Winnebago War 


with them awhile^ and they finally consented to smoke the cal- 
umet. He afterwards learned that one of the young Indians 
cocked his gun^ and was ahout to shoot him, when he was forci- 
bly prevented by an old man, who struck down his arm. He 
passed down to Prairie Du Chien, where he found the inhabit- 
ants in the greatest state of alarm. Aft>?r organizing the mili- 
tia, he had to continue his voyage t<3 St. Louis. He stopped at 
Galena. There were then no white inhabitants on either bank 
cf the Mississippi, north of the Missouri line. An-ived at St. 
Louis, after organizing a force under General Clark and Gen- 
eral Atkinson, he ascended the Illinois in his canoe, and 
passed into Lake Michigan without getting out of it. The 
water had filled the swamps at the head of Chicago river, which 
enabled the voyageurs to navigate his canoe through without 
serious difficulty. Where Chicago now is he found two fami- 
lies, one of which was that of his old friend Kinzie. This was 
the first and last time he had been at Burlington, ^ew coun- 
tries have their disadvantages of which those who come at a 
later day know little. Forty years ago flour sold at two dol- 
lars per barrel, and there were hundreds of acres of com in the 
West that were not harvested. The means of transportation 
were too expensive to allow of their being carried to market.^' 

Gen. Dodge to Gen. Atkinson 

Galena, August 26, 1827. 
Dear General: — Capt. Henry, the Chairman of the Com- 
mittee of Safety, will wait on you at Prairie Du Chien, before 
^your departure from that place. Capt. Henry is an intelli- 
gent gentleman, who understands well the situation of the 
country. The letter accompanying Gov. Cass^ communication 
to you has excited in some measure the people in this part of 
the country. As the principal part of the efficient force is 
preparing to accompany you on your expedition up the Ouis- 
consin, it might have a good effect to send a small regular force 
to this part of the country, and in our absence they might ren- 

Hpt* ■nT*r>tf»r»f inn ir\ tin a Tomnn 

158 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

I feel the importance of your having as many mounted men 
as the country can afford, to aid in punishing those insolent 
Winnebagoes who are wishing to imite, it would seem, in com- 
mon all the disaffected Indians on our borders. From infor- 
mation received last night, some straggling Indians have been 
seen on our frontiers. 

Your friend and obedient servant, 

To Gen. H, Atkinson, Prairie du Chien. H. DoDGE. 


There has repeatedly, during the past dozeu or fifteen years, appeared in 
the papers an article purporting to be An Indian Race for Life. It stated, 
that soon after the Winnebago difficulties in 1827, that a Sioux Indian killed a 
Winnebago Indian while out hunting near the mouth of Root River ; that the 
Winnebagoes were indignant at the act, and two thousand of them assembled at 
Prairie du Chien, and demanded of Col. Taylob, commanding there, the pro- 
curement and surrender of the murderer. An officer was sent to the Sioux, 
and demanded the murderer, who was given up ; and finally was surrendered 
to the Winnebagoes, on condition that he should have a chance for his life — 
giving him ten paces, to run at a given signal, and twelve Winnebagoes to pur- 
sue, each armed only with a tomahawk and scalping knife — but he out-ran 
them all, and saved his life. 

Gen. H. L. Dous:man and B. W. Bbisbois, old and well known residents of 
Prairie du Chien, declare that no such incident ever occurred there, and that 
there is "not one word of truth in the statement." This note is appended 
here that future historians of our State may understand that it is only a 
myth or fanciful story. L. C. D. 

A Western Reminiscence 

By Col. Abram Edwards 

In the year 1818, I was a resident of Detroit, and the owner 
of a large mercantile establishment located in that place, and 
from this, had branches at Fort Gratiot, the out-let of Lake 
Huron, and at Mackinaw, Green Bay, and Chicago. In May 
of that year, business required my presence at each of the 
branches, and I accompanied the ai-my Pay-Master, Major 
Phillips, who was ordered to pay the troops stationed at 
those places, then military posts. We left Detroit in the 
month of May in a small schooner for Mackinac, and from 
thence on the same mode of conveyance, to Green Bay. After 
our business was finished at the Bay, and we were looking for 
a conveyance to Chicago, Inspector Gen. Wool arrived, and 
requested we would not leave until he had inspected the 


Western Reminiscence 


troops, and lie would accompany ns to that place. In the in- 
terim, we purchased a bark canoe and had it fitted up for our 
voyage. Major Z. Taylor, afterwards President, command- 
ing the post, furnished us with seven expert canoe-men to 
manage our frail bark. 

We left Green Bay garrison after dinner, and went to the 
head of Sturgeon Bay, 40 miles, and encamped for the night. 
The next morning we carried our canoe two and a half miles 
over the portage to the shore of Lal^e Michigan, and, after get- 
ting the baggage over, we were willing to encamp for the night. 
The next morning found us in our canoe afloat on the waters 
of the Lake, paddling our way to Chicago, where we arrived 
the third day from our Lake shore encampment. On our 
passage, although we frequently landed, we did not meet with 
a white man — we were, however, informed one was trading 
with the Indians at Milwaukee. At Twin Rivers, Manitowoc, 
Sheboygan and Milwaukee, the shore of the Lake was lined 
with Indians — near Manitowoc many were out in canoes spear- 
ing white fish. I am reminded of these reminiscences, having 
recently noticed in the public prints a census of the inhabitants 
of the cities and towns that have grown upon this very Lake 
shore, which for beauty and population are equal to many of 
the cities and towns of the old States, and which shores when 
traversed were then peopled by savages, and indeed from the 
shores of Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, was one 
wide waste of unoccupied country. Indeed, from Chicago to 
Detroit, you had no track but the Indian path from one city 
to the other, and without any shelter for the weary traveler; 
where now, in Michigan, there is nearly one million of inhab- 
itants, with all the facilities of conveyances and comfort, you 
find in the older States. 

The same may be said of the States of Illinois and Wiscon- 
sin — two of the greatest grain producing States in the Union — 
for their population, with farms and improvements, equal io 
any in any part of the United States. Michigan, Illinois and 
Wisconsin now contain a greater population than did the old 
thirteen States, when we contended with England for our inde- 

i6o Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

This, reader, is truly a progressive age — ^within the last 
thirty-seven years the three States herein named have grown in- 
to existence, and now contain nearly three millions of people. 

What flattering inducements are still held out here for the 
hardy sons of Isew England — plenty of the best lands under 
the sim are yet left unoccupied, and only want industry and 
hardy hands to find plenty of gold, and without the fatigue 
and expense of a journey to California for this precious metal. 

The valley of Kock River is the most beautiful and most 
productive country I have even seen in any part of the United 
States, from the head waters of the river to its entrance with 
the Mississippi. But this I do not wish to say in disparage- 
ment of thousands of acres in Illionis and Wisconsin, that 
only want the husbandman with his team and plough to pro- 
duce a rich harvest. 

Chicago, inlSlS, was only a garrison commanded by Major 
Baker, with no settlements near — now it probably contains a 
population of over 70,000, probably 10,000 more than can be 
numbered in the old city of Albany. In June, 1818, from 
the garrison at Chicago to Twin Rivers, 170 miles, on the west 
shore of Lake Michigan, there was but one white man resident, 
he an Indian, trader. Since then, Chicago has become what it is, 
a large city. Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee and Sheboygan, all 
incorporated cities; Port Washington, Manitowoc, Twin Riv- 
ers and several other to"^Tis, all important business places, have 
grown into existence and now probably contain all together 
150,000 souls, and the wide uncultivated waste of country then 
lying between the western shore of Lake Michigan and the 
Mississippi River, numbers now over two millions of inhabi- 

When I look back over the last thirty-seven years of my 
life, I can hardly realize the wonderful changes that have taken 
place under my observation, in this country, and still much 
greater may be expected for the next thirty years — ^what flat- 
tering inducements are still held out for emigration to this 
almost Western empire. 
Janes\ille, Aug. 30, 18o5. 

1887] Fourteenth Annual Report i6i 





Vol. V. FOE THE YEAR 1868. Paet II. 

Fourteenth Annual Report 

Submitted January 4, 1868. 

The Executive Committee has never had a more pleasant 
duty to perform than in making this, the fourteenth annual 
report of its labors and their results. The past year's ordinary 
additions to the Library and Collections have been very satis- 
factory in their extent and character, while the Tank Collec- 
tion has swollen the combined additions to undue and gratify- 
ing proportions. 

Receipts and Disbursements 

The Treasurer's report shows the receipts of the year, in- 
cluding the balance on hand at its commencement, to have 
been $1,146.92, and the disbursements $1,127.63— leaving an 
unexpended balance of $19.29 in the Treasury. More than 
nine-tenths of all the expenditures have been for the increase 
of the Library. The Binding Fund is $108.10. 

1 62 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. 

Library Additions 

The ordinary Library additions for the year have been 650 
volumes, and 669 pamphlets and "onbonnd documents, making 
together 1,319 volumes or works. Of these 650 volimies, 357 
were by donation, and 293 by purchase. The Tank Library 
has formed the extraordinary addition to our collection — com- 
prising 4,812 volumes and 374 pamphlets; and counting the 
ordinary and extraordinary additions together, we have a total 
increase of 5,462 volumes and 1,043 pamphlets and unbound 
documents, making the aggregate additions of the year 6,505, 
and the total number now in the Library, bound and unbound, 
31,505. Of the aggTegate additions of the year, 376 volumes 
are folios and 793 quartos — making now in the Library a total 
of 1,500 folios and 1,747 quartos. 

Progressive Library Increase 

The past and present condition of the Library is shown in 
the following table: 






Total in 

1854, Jan. 1 




1855, Jan. 2; 





1856, Jan. 1 





1857, Jan. 6 





1858, Jan. 1 





1859, Jan. 4 





1860, Jan. 3 





1861, Jan. 2 





1862, Jan. 2 





1863, Jan. 2 





1864, Jan. 2 









1866, Jan. 2 





1867, Jan. 3 





1868, Jan. 4 








Principal Additions and Donors 

The Tank Collection is decidedly the largest donation the 
Society has ever received. It has come to us as the generous gift 

1867] Fourteenth Annual Report 163 

of Mrs. C. L. A. Tank, of Fort Howard, Wisconsin, and Tras 
collected bj her father, the late Rev. E. J. Van Der Meulen, 
of Holland, Vv'ho was a clergyman of liberal culture, and dur- 
ing hi,s lifetime accumulated this valuable collection on history^ 
travels, science and theology. It reached us in good condition, 
in October, filling tvrenty-one large cases, the Legislature hav- 
ing provided for the freight expenses from Holland. Though 
in foreign languages, yet such a collection will prove a valu- 
able acquisition to such a reference Library as ours, where the 
wants of our citizens of all nationalities must needs be pro- 
vided for, so far as it may be in our power to do so. 

This Tanh Collection, numbering altogether 4,812 volumes, 
and 374 pamphlets, deserves a more special notice. It is rich 
in works in fine old vellum binding — having 111 folios, 264 
quartos, and 404 in smaller size, making a total of 779 bound 
in vellum style. The total number of folios in this collection,, 
in vellum, sheep and paper binding, is 269; of quartos in 
various bindings, 737. Many of these works are largely and 
richly illustrated. 

Among this Tarik Collection are the following: Suetonius' 
History of the Twelve Csesars in Latin, printed at Antwerp,. 
154S ; jiarcobius' Commentary on Cicero, Lyons, 1560; Lu- 
can's Pharsalia, Antwerp, 1564; a fine rare edition of the 
ITew Testament, Pax ^ 1568 ; a large folio Bible, in the Dutck 
language, with numerous large copperplate engravings, bound 
in heavy Pussia leather, with heavy brass clasps, Gorinchem, 
1748; a similar copy without engravings, Dort, 1729; another 
copy, small folio, with clasps, Amsterdam, 1796; also a 12 mo. 
edition, bound in morocco, with clasps, with the Psalms set to 
music, Dort, 1769; Calvin Opera Omnia, in 9 vols, folio, Am- 
sterdam, 1671; Travels of ^^ieuhoff, De Bruyer Baldieus, 
and Montanus, in foreign countries, with fine copperplate en- 
gravings, in 6 folio volumes, 1671-93; Dapper's Histories 
of China, Arabia, Palestine, &c., copperplate engravings, 5 
vols, folio, 1672- 78; works of Josephus, coppeq)late en- 
gravings, folio, Amsterdam, 1772 ; Hubner's Geslacht Tafelen, 

in 4 oblong folio volumes, a valuable work on the genealogy 

164 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

of royal and distinguished families of Europe, Ley den, 1722 ; 
De Larrey's History of England, 4 folio volumes, 1728; Ver- 
klaring der H. Serif t (a Biblical commentary), 8 volumes 
folio, Amsterdam, 1743; Hedendaagsche Histories, 37 vols. 
8vo., Amsterdam, 1761 ; Encyclopedia, or Dictionarie Universal 
Eaisonee, 58 vols, quarto, Yverden, 1772; Linnseus is'atural 
History, 37 vols. 8vo., Amsterdam, 1781; Groot Placart 
Booke, 9 vols, folio, Amsterdam, 1657-1796. 

Ever grateful will our Society be to Mrs. Tank for her in- 
valuable donation, and we trust it will long remain as a bright 
example and incentive to liberality in others, and as a means 
of usefuLness to the present and future generations. 

We must next notice a very valuable contribution, which 
we cannot estimate too highly, from Edwin B. Quiner — eleven 
quarto volumes of mounted newspaper scraps relative to the 
important part Wisconsin enacted in the late war. These em- 
brace hundreds, if not thousands, of letters, written by ^'tKe 
boys in blue" to their friends at home, and published in the 
various local papers of the State, and were used to only a lim- 
ited extent, in the preparation of Mr. Quiner's elaborate work 
on the Kebellion. Arranged by regiments, and neatly mounted, 
they will, when properly indexed as our Librarian shortly de- 
•signs doing, prove one of the very richest collections for his- 
torical reference on all matters pertaining to Wisconsin's part 
in the war for the Union, that we can ever expect to possess. 
Mr. Quiner has also been mindful of the Society's wants in 
presenting five other valuable works, and a nearly complete 
set of the serial work of Byrne's Dictionary of Mechanics. 
For all these contributions, as well as former gifts, the Society 
returns to Mr. Quiner its grateful thanks, mingled with sin- 
cere sympathies for his declining health. 

To the Khode Island Historical Society, we are indebted for 
55 volumes of the legislative acts and journals of that State 
from 1847 to 1865 ; to the Chicago Historical Society, for 39 
volumes and 59 pamphlets, and documents pertaining to Illi- 
nois legislation and institutions; D. T. Valentine, for 39 vol- 
umes on the government and institutions of I^ew York city; 

1867] Fourteenth Annual Report 165 

Dr. Samuel A. Green, for 17 volumes and 173 pampMets; 
Hon. D. J. Powers, a volume of the Scientific American and 
120 pamphlets, and several serials; Governor L. Fairchild, 
7 volumes and 67 pamphlets ; Messrs. Atwood & Sublee, 6 
volumes and 59" pamphlets; Hon. T. O. Howe, 14 volumes 
and 40 pamphlets; General H. E. Paine, 17 volumes; Gen- 
eral J. K. Proudfit, 12 volumes ; Joseph Sabin, 10 volumes ; 
I\ A. Holden, 4 volumes and 12 pamphlets; Hon. W. D. 
Mclndoe, 8 volumes and 2 pamphlets; Joel Munsell, 1 vol- 
ume and 51 pamphlets; H. M. Page, 5 volumes; Adjutant 
General of E'ew York, 6 volumes; Adjutant General of ]\Ii3- 
souri, 4 volumes; State Library of Michigan, 4 volumes; 
James Smith, of Monroe, Charlevoix's History of St. Domingo, 
2 volumes quarto, 1730, and the works of Las Casas, 2 vol- 
umes; Colonel S. Y. Shipman, 2 volumes and 11 pamphlets; 
A. H. Worthen, the Geological Survey of Illinois, 2 volumes 
quarto; Dr. T. H. Wynne, 2 valuable volumes on the History 
of the Dividing Line, and other Byrd Papers ; Hon. Ezra 
Cornell, 4 volumes; S. G. Drake, 2 volumes and 1 pamphlet; 
Miss Eliza S. Quincy, 1 volume and 5 pamphlets ; Young 
Men's Association, Albany, 19 pamphlets; Bangs, Merwin & 
Co., 11 pamphlets; G. W. Fahnestock, 7 pamphlets; D. S. 
Durrie, 6 pamphlets; and many others of a lesser number of 
books and pamphlets. 

Character of Additions 

While we have added largely to our historical department, 
from Practica de Aegritudinihus, by J. M. Savonarolae, folio, 
Florence, 1479, which is the oldest volume in our Library; 
Sagard's Early History, of Canada, and his Yoyage du Pays 
des Hurons, and Oglethorpe's Account of South Carolina 
and G^rgia, 1732, with various histories and travels down 
to the close of the war of the Kebellion, we have also added 
largely to our newspaper, genealogical, scientific and statistical 
departments. Fully fifty volumes on genealogy and local his- 
tory have been secured; 12 volumes of the Scientific Ameri- 
can have been obtained towards completing our set of that 

1 66 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

valuable work, and progress has been made in our efforts to 
complete onr sets of serials and periodicals, and reports of tbe 
Adjutant Generals of tbe several States during tbe war. We 
have during tbe year, added sometbing to our collection from 
the small and select editions of rare works on American his- 
tcry, issued by Munsell, Shea, Woodward, Dawson, Wiggins, 
Sabin, Dodge and others. 

Nevvspaper Department 

During the year we have bad 73 volumes of newspapers from 
our files bound, of which 57 were Wisconsin files; and 52 
volumes have been purchased and donated, making the total 
addition of the year 125 volumes, and the entire nimiber in 
tbe collection 1,421 volumes. Of the new additions, 6 vol- 
umes were published in the last century the Independent Whig, 
at Philadelphia, in 1721 ; two voliunes of the Pennsylvania 
Gazette, by Dr. Franklin, l741-'4:6 ; Pennsylvania Chronicle, 
1768, and the North Briton, 2 voliunes, 1769. We have now 
144 volumes of bound newspaper files, published in the last 
century. In the immense collection on American history 
which Peter Force was fifty years in gathering, and which he 
has recently sold to the General Government, there were 245 
bound newspaper files of the last century — exceeding ours 
nearly two-fifths; while his collection in this century, was 
scarcely the half of ours. It is questionable, if, in all respects, 
a better collection than ours can be found in our country. 

Seventy magazines, newspapers and serials come; i-egularly 
to the Society, and all except five as donations. These are 
all bound as frequently as enough of a kind to form a con- 
venient sized volume accumulate; if they were suffered to go 
"unbound for a few years, the cost of binding would prove a 
matter of serious difficulty to meet. 

Map and Atlas Department 

From the Tank Collection, and other sources, we have re- 
ceived some important additions to this department. Atlas 

1867] Fourteenth Annual Report 167 

Major, 4 vols, folio, Amsterdam, 1730; Moll's Atlas, 1 vol., 
large quarto, 1729; Covens and Mortier's Atlas, 2 vols., fo- 
lio, Amsterdam, 1745; Palairet's Atlas Methodique, 1 vol., 
folio, 1755; three portfolios of maps, of various dates, of Ger- 
man Provinces; an illustrated map of Palestine, of Biblical 
localities, on rollers; and a Chronological or Historical Table, 
on rollers, 1818 — all from the Tank Collection. Atlas Uni- 
versal, 1849, from David Holt; Farmers' large map of Wis- 
consin, on rollers, from Hon. E. A. Spencer; large map of 
North Carolina, from Gen. J. K. Proudfit; Corbett's map 
of the Seat of War, 1861, from E. B. Quiner; and pocket 
map of Clarion and Venango counties. Pa., from Hon. D. J. 
Powers. We have now about 420 maps and atlases in our 

Picture Gallery 

A 'portrait, in oil, four feet two inches by three feet four 
inches, of Judge A. G. Miller, of the United States Court for 
the District of Wisconsin, painted by Clifford, of Milwaukee, 
in black walnut frame, from Judge Miller; a portrait in oil 
of an aged Indian woman, named Mosh-u-e-bee, of the Stock- 
bridge tribe, who died about a year since at Dekorra, Wiscon- 
sin, and is reputed to have had three sons who served in the 
Revolutionary war, one of whom lost his life in the service, 
and herself followed the patriot army, and must have been 
not much, if aay, kss than one himdred and twenty-five years 
of age, if these statements are true, though she is generally 
supposed to have been some fifteen years older. Her portrait 
was painted by S. D. Coates, of Merrimac, Wis., who pre- 
sented it to the Society. It serves to preserve for our Indian 
Gallery the singular appearance of an interesting relic of a for- 
mer age. We have now sixty-two oil paintings in our collec- 
tion, and the number should be augmented from our pioneers, 
prominent civilians, and distinguished heroes of the war. We 
appeal to our friends for additional pictures for our Gallery. 

To our Art Gallery have also been added a fine lithograph 
of Rev. R. J. Van Der Meulen, who gathered the Tank Li- 

1 68 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

brary, and a fine photograph of the late Otto Tank, both finely 
framed and glazed, from Mrs.'C. L. A. Tank; two large pic- 
tures of photographs of the Senate, Assembly and State offi- 
cers of Wisconsin, 1866, neatly mounted on cloth and framed; 
also a photograph of Gov. L. P. Harvey, in a neat rosewood 
frame, and glared, from Messrs. Roberts & Whiting; a large 
photograph of the Grant County, Wis., Soldiers' Monument, 
from Addison Burr, of Lancaster; a beautiful series of five 
photographs of views in the Yo-Semito Valley, California, 
framed and glazed, from B. Frodsham ; an ambrotype of Mrs. 
Matilda Hood, the first female settler at Mineral Point, in 
1827, from Maj. C. F. Legate. 

Additions to the Cabinet 

Early Coin — A German coin, 1645, and a copper coin of 
George III, from Hon. Thos. Robinson; a Prussian copper 
coin, 1800, from Samuel Barber. 

Confederate Scrip. — ^A Confederate $500 bond, and a $10 
Georgia bill, from Governor Fair child; a 50 cent shin plaster 
of the Tenn. & Miss. R. R. Co., from Rev. H. W. Spaulding. 

Indian Curiosities. — A pipe of peace, of red pipe stone, with 
nine smoking apartments, obtained from a Choctaw chief, 
from W. M. Colby; a copper arrow head, from Concord, Wis., 
from J. Fomdrook; an Indian implement, found at Koshko- 
nong, Wis., 1846, from Dr. J. Crane; two Indian arrows 
taken from the bodies of soldiers massacred by the Sioux at 
Fort Phil. Kearney, Dec. 22, 1866; from Lieut. J. K. Hyer; 
a birch bark sap bucket, used by Indians of Burnett Co., Wis., 
from Hon. Mr. Stuntz. 

Continental and Colonial Currency. — A five shilling and a six 
shilling Pennsylvania bill, 1773 and 1777, and a $35 Conti- 
nental bill, Jan. 14, 1779, from Stephen Taylor. 

War Relics and Curiosities- — A parole of Christian H. 
Belger, 'Nov, 26, 1763, from Mr. Belger; a Vicksburg news- 
paper, July 4, 1863, printed on wall paper, from Stephen 

1867] Fourteenth Annual Report 169 

Taylor, a volume of rebel documents found at Corinth, May 
30, 1862, from Kev. C. A. Staples; and a newspaper printed 
on wall paper, at Jacksonport, Arkansas, in 1863, from Dr. W. 
M. Granger. 

Autographs. — Two autograph letters of Wm. Eoscoe, of Liv- 
erpool, 1792, 1808, from ]\Irs. C. A. Staples; 12 visiting card3 
of foreign ministers to the United States, from F. A. Holden; 
autograph of D. G. Fenton, April 8, 1837, from Stephen Tay- 
lor; commission of John Messersmith, J. P. of lowa County, 
Oct. 14, 1829, signed by G^v. Lewis Cass, of Michigan Terri- 
tory, from Judge Luman M. Strong. 

Old Newspapers. — Reprint fac simile of London Times, Oc- 
tober 3, 1798, giving an account of Xelson's Xile victory, from 
S. A. Sherman; fac simile of Ulster County Gazette January 
4, 1800, from Mr. Morse. 

Natural History Specimens. — A piece of brick from Hercu- 
laneum, found 80 feet below the surface; a brick from the 
Coliseum, at Rome, and some scoria picked up, w^hile hot, in 
the crater of Mt. Vesuvius, June 24, 1867, from J. S. Blis?; 
calamine and zinc blende, carbonate and surphuret of zinc, 
dry bone and black-jack, from the mines of John Ross, Min- 
eral Point, from Gen. Thos. S. Allen ; a specimen of the taran- 
tula spider found in Mexico, preser^'ed in spirits, from Geo. 
T. Clark ; a hickory sapling through which an oaken board was 
blown, at the Viroqua tornado of 1863 ; a fossil shell found in 
Rutland, Wis., from Dr. ^. J. Crane; a chip taken from the 
center of a large pine tree in Knowlton, Marathon County, 
Wis., with cuttings by an axe, ^vith over one hundred years' 
annual growth over the cut, from S. A. Sherman. 

Miscellaneous — The military coat and chapeau, worn by Gen. 
Henry Dodge, while commanding the U. S. Dragoons, from 
Hon. A. C. Dodge ; an ancient silver cross, about ten inches in 
length, found at Green Bay, from Henry Hall, Toledo; a but- 
ton from the coat of the celebrated John Paul Jones, from the 
Hon. Thos. Robinson; and a negro whip, from Washington, 
Arkansas, from W. M. Colby. 


lyo Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

Literary Exchanges 

We have received 30 copies each^ from the State, of State 
publications; 25 copies of the proceedings of the Wisconsin 
Editorial Convention, from the Convention, through its Secre- 
tary, Hon. James Ross; 15 copies of the Legislative Manual, 
1867, from General T. S. Allen; and 10 copies of the Report 
of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, from Hon. J. G. 
McMynn — all for exchanges. And, during the year, quite a 
niimber of boxes and parcels have been made up and forwarded 
to the Public Libraries of the country, with which we have es- 
tablished a system of exchanges. 

Binding Fund 

The Executive Committee beg again to call the attention of 
the Society to the importance of providing a Binding Fund, 
the income of which to be used for binding purposes. This 
matter was discussed in our last Report, and referred to the 
Committee on Endowment for action; but the whole matter 
seems to have been buried ^*in the tombs of the Capulets.'' Let 
the subject be resurrected, and new life imparted to it. We 
have thousands of pamphlets and many valuable books that 
need binding, and the usefulness of our collection would bo 
largely enhanced by such a needful provision. The American 
Antiquarian Society, and kindred institutions have them; and 
we should delay no longer in the matter. The calls on the 
General Fund are too numerous and pressing to permit us to do 
scarcely anything in the way of binding, except our newspaper 
files, and those in the cheapest possible manner. 

One of Wisconsin's earliest pioneers, and most useful of 
publie men, Hon. John Catlin, now of Xew Jersey, has tran^ 
mitted U3 a hundred dollars as the nucleus of such a fund, 
which has been invested in a Government bond. The com- 
mittee suggest that the regular dues, and money donations, if 
any, be appropriated to that fund; that subscriptions be se- 
cured payable one-fifth annually till paid. Earnest persistent 
action would ensure success. 

1867] Fourteenth Annual Report 171 


Wisconsin has a history, a long and eventful one of which 
much has been already garnered, and much yet remains to be 
<3one. The early French explorers and missionaries have left 
u? some precious narratives and reports, while Charlevoix^s 
I^ew France, Carver's, Long's and Pike's Travels and Atwa- 
ter's Tour to Prairie du Chien, in 1S20, give r.s some early 
glimpses of Wisconsin history. ^N'or have our own citizens, in 
more modem times, been idle in relating tha story of her beau- 
ties, her incidents and early hardships, and her wonderful pro- 
gress and prosperity. Our honored Presidents, Gen. Wm. K. 
Smith, and I. A. Lapham, LL. D., have re;ndered our State a 
good service; the former in his Observations in Wisconsin in 
1837, and his History of Wisconsin, in 1853 ; and the latter in 
his work on the History and Topography of Wisconsin, and 
his able paper to the Smithsonian Contributions, on the iVntiq- 
uities of Wisconsin; John Gregory's Resources of Wiscon- 
sin; John W. Hunt's Gazetteer of the State; Maj. D. S. Cur- 
•tiss' Western Portraiture; Pev. Stephen Peet's History of 
the Presb\'terian and Congregational Churches of Wisconsin; 
kludge Gale's Records of the Gale Family, and his recent work 
cn the History of the Upper Mississippi Valley; Hon. Orrin 
Guernsey's work on the History and xYgriculture of Rock 
ocunty; Martin Mitchell's brochures on the Histories of 
Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties; John C. Gillespy's 
History of Green Lake county ; A. C. Wheeler's Chronicles 
of Milwaukee; G. M. West's Early History of Metomen; 
r^an'l S. Hurries' two works on the Genealogy of the Steele 
and Holt Families, and his large work, in manuscript, on the 
Topography and Statistics of Wisconsin; S. D. Carpenter's 
Causes of the War; E. B. Quiner's and Rev. W. D. L. Love's 
Histories of Wisconsin in the Rebellion; G. W. Hrigg's His- 
tory of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteers; Jas. J. McMyler's Elev- 
enth Wisconsin vohmteers ; S. W. Pierce's Battle Fields and 
Camp Fires of the 38th Wisconsin Volunteers; Dr. A. L. Cas- 
tleman'a Army of the Potomac Behind the Scenes; and 

172 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. v. 

Kev. Mead Holmes' Soldier of the Curaberland, of the 21st 
Regiment. To this long list should be added the six volumes 
of Transactions of the Wisconsin Agricultural Society, pre- 
pared by Albert C. Ingham and Dr. J. W. Hoyt ; the four vol- 
umes of Reports and Collections of our Historical Society ; and 
the 25 volumes of Reports of our Supreme Court, of which one 
volume contains those of the Territory by Thos. P. Burnett, 
four of our old Supreme Court, by D. H. Chandler, eleven vol- 
imies of the re-organized Supreme Court, by Hon. A. D. Smith, 
four by P. L. Spooner, and five by O. M. Conover. 

Such are some of our Wisconsin gleaners and gleanings — - 
quite an array for so young a State. There is work yet foi 
our Society to do — work which, if we neglect, will be likely 
to go undone, and much of it to perish with the present gen- 
eiation. We shall soon commence re-issuing our Collections, 
for which we need contributions from our old pioneers; and 
from the surviving officers and soldiers of the war, narratives 
of their experiences and observations. Shall we have them ? 

Let the past year's unexampled prosperity of our Society 
inspire us with nevv^ hopes and encouragements, and nerve us 
to the achievement of yet more signal success. 

1867] Henry Dodge 173 

Eulogy on Henry Dodge 

After the reading of tlie Annual Keport of the Executive 
Committee, Mr. S. U. Pinney rose and announced the death 
of Gen. Henry Dodge: 

Mr. President: — Since the last annual meeting of this So- 
ciety, death has removed from our midst one of our most es- 
teemed and tried friends, who was an honorary member of this 
Society, and one of the first and most honored citizens of our 
State; and I embrace this, the first suitable opportunity, of 
making a formal announcement of the event. On the 19th of 
June, 1867, at the residence of his son, Hon. Augustus C. 
Dod^e, at Burlington, Iowa, General Henry Dodge, the first 
Territorial Governor of Wisconsin, and for a long period a 
Senator from this State in Congress, departed this life full of 
years and honors. The sad intelligence of the death of one 
who has been so prominent an actor in the public affairs of the 
Territory and State, and whose life and public services are so 
intimately connected with its history and the settlement of the 
Northwest, will be received with profound regret. It will call 
to the recollection of the early settlers and pioneers of the 
West, many interesting incidents and reminiscences, the mem- 
ory of which is passing away with the brave, enterprising and 
hardy band who first opened this rich and prosperous country 
to civilization, and who participated in the perils, hard^ihips 
and trials which attended its early settlement It will awaken 
feelings of reverence and gratitude in those of the present gen- 
eration , who have succeeded to the enjoyment of the fruits of 
their labors and privations. 

It remains to us at this time, to perform the melancholy yet 
pleasant duty of paying an appropriate tribute to his long and 

174 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

useful career, and to bear in grateinl remembrance the distin- 
guislied ability, integrity and fidelity, which he displayed in 
the high and important official trusts to which he was so fre' 
qnently called by our people. 

General Dodge was bom in the year 17S2, at Vinceiines, in 
that portion of the Xortli-"\Vestern territory which novv" consti- 
tutes the State of Indiana. He removed to Missouri, where 
he passed a considerable of tlio earlier portion of his life. In 
1808, he held the office of Shcriii of Cape Girardeau County. 
In 1812, he was chosen Captain of a mounted rifle company, 
and in September of that year he was appointed Major of the 
Louisiana Terr?torial militia. He continued in service during 
the w^ar until October, 1814, rising to the rank of Lieutenant 
Colonel; and, in 1814, he commanded an expedition sent up 
largely in the trials and difficulties incident to the early settle- 
ment of that State. In 1827, he removed to Y\^isconsin, then a 
part of Michigan Territory, and settled near Dodgeville, in the 
mining district, and engaged in the business of mining. At 
this period he took a prominent part in the Winnebago Indian 
war. He w^as appointed ]\Iajor of the United States Kangers 
in June, 1832, and Colonel of the First Dragoons on the 4th 
<jf March, 1833, which position he resigned about three yeara 
afterwards. During the Black Hawk war he held the po- 
sition of Colonel^ and distinguished himself by the prompt, 
<inergetic and decisive manner in which he conducted the part 
assigned to him. He acquired a high reputation as a military 
Oiucer, in conducting campaigns against the Indians, and in 
this service he had few, if any, superiors. He became at 
this time intimately acquainted with the country, and one of 
iie most prominent and useful citizens. Upon the organiza- 
tion of the Ten-itory of Wisconsin in 1836, he was appointed 
by President Jackson its first Governor, and continued to 
hold that office until the 30th of September, 1841, v/hen he 
was elected Delegate to Congress from Wisconsin Territory, 
and continued in that office until the 8th of April, 1845, hav- 
ing been re-elected in September, 1843. On the 8th of April, 


Henry Dodge 

1845, lie was again appointed Governor of the Territory, and 
continued to be its Governor until the 29th of May, 1848, 
when, upon the admission of Wisconsin into the Union, he 
was succeeded by Hon. l^Telson Dewey, who had been elected 
under our State Constitution. Upon the organization of the 
State government in June, 1848, he was elected as one of it-s 
first Senators to represent Wisconsin in Congress, and was, on 
the 20th day of January, 1851, re-elected to the United States 
Senate for the term of six years. At the expiration of this 
term, in 1857, he retired from public life, and afterwards, and 
until the time of his death, he resided part of the time at Minr 
eral Point, in this State, and part of the time at Burlington, 
Iowa, where his son Hon. Augustus C. Dodge, resides. 

It rarely falls to the lot of any man to enjoy popular favor 
so long, or in a gTeater degree, or to serve in official station 
with greater credit to himself or more advantage to his con- 
stituency, than did General Dodge. His public services com- 
mjenced with the early settlement of the West, and in its hoT- 
der savage wars, and continued without interruption until his 
retirement from public life, embracing a period of nearly fifty 
years. His life and personal history are, to a great extent, the 
history of the settlement and development of our State, of 
which he may well be considered, to a great extent, the founder 
8nd father. It never had a more faithful and devoted public 
servant, and none of its citizens ever took a more lively inter- 
est than he in its advancement and prosperity. 

All his official and personal relations were characterized by 
a personal integrity of the highest order, which was not merely 
a rule to which he submitted, but a principle of his life. He 
was a man of remarkable personal dignity and firmness of 
character, and fidelity of purpose, and he possessed a singular 
capacity to judge of the usefulness and integrity of others. To 
these elements of character his eminent success in life was in 
a great degree attributable. Without the adventitious aids of 
wealth or influential personal friends, he rose steadily, but 
surely, to the position of a representative man of the West, 
and an influential and honored statesman in the cotmcils of the 

176 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voiv. 

nation. He lived to see the section of the country over which 
he was appointed Governor in 1836, rise to the magTiitnde of 
an empire, and embracing within its limits the great and grow- 
ing States of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and so much of 
Dacotah Territory as lies East of the Missouri river; States 
which furnished over 197,000 soldiers to suppress the recent 
Rebellion, and which possess' almost exhaustless resources yet 
to be developed, to add to their dignity, wealth and power. 
With what pride and satisfaction must he have contemplated 
the result of the labors of himseK and his associate pioneers, 
as he surveyed the political and social organizations, and th.e 
new civilization which their hands had founded and reared. 
Heroes and warriors, prompted by imholy ambition, may hew 
their way to place and power and achieve distinguished posi- 
tions in the history of the world by conquering provinces, and 
trampling down and destroying existing systems and organiza- 
tions, but how much more honorable and imperishable, the r&« 
nown of those who have founded States and empires, and laid 
broad and deep the lasting foundations of new governments, 
of political and social systems, which are destined we trust, to 
become the grandest and most beneficent in their operation and 
influence, of any the world ever saw. 

He Kved to see his country, which he loved and served so 
long and so well, withstand and triumph over the shock of 
Civil War and Kebellion, and emerge successfully from what 
we trust was destined to be its last great triah In the calm 
retirement of a ripe and honorable old age, in the possession 
of all his mental faculties, unimpaired by disease, with the 
consciousness that he had lived an honorable and useful life, 
and cheered and sustained by the consolations of a Christian 
faith, and a lively hope of a blessed immortality beyond the 
grave, and while surrounded by his friends and family, hfi 
quietly passed to his honored rest. 

"And we are glad he Has lived thus long, 
And glad that he has gone to his reward ; 
Nor can we deem that Nature did him wrong 
Softly to disengage the vital cord, 
For when his hand grew palsied* and his eye 
Dark with the mists of age, it was his time to die." 


Henry Dodge 


Mr. President, I move that a committee of three be ap- 
pointed to prepare resolutions expressive of the sense of this So- 
ciety on the sad event, and to procure a paper to be prepared 
on the life, character and public services of the deceased, to 
be preserved vt^ith the archives of this Society. 

Messrs. Pinney, Mills and Dean were appointed such com- 
Liittee, who reported the following resolutions: 

''Resolved, That, in the death of Gen. Henry Dodge, this 
Society, and the entire IsTorthwest, have lost one of their earli- 
est_, most faithful and valued friends, and this State a dis- 
tinguished citizen, whose name, fame and public services form 
the gTeat central figure in its early settlement, and are closely 
identified mth the history of its formation, and its progi*es5 
and prosperity. 

''Resolvedj That his eminent and faithful public services in 
military and civil life, his courage and sound practical judg- 
ment, his high sense of honor and his purity of character, and 
fidelity to official trust during a long and useful life, earned 
for him the confidence and respect of the people, and form a 
noble and impressive example for future imitation, and have 
secured for him to all time the grateful remembrance of the 
people of this State. 

"Resolved, That we sincerely lament his death, and that to 
his many friends, and to all who are bereaved by the sad event, 
wc tender our cordial sympathy. 

''Resolved, That the Corresponding Secretary of this So- 
ciety, be directed to forward a copy of these proceedings to the 
family of the lamented deceased." 

After remarks on General Dodge by W. Welch, Esq., Hon. 
George B. Smith, Governor Fairchild, General Thomas S. Al- 
len and Lyman C. Draper, the resolutions were adopted. 

178 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

The Winnebago War 

By Col. Thomas L. McKenney 

At four o'clock on the afternoon, of September 1st, 1827, we 
arrived at tlie Portage of Wisconsin, and encamped on a high 
bluff which overlooks the country for a great distance to the 
south and west. We had not finished the business of encamp- 
icg, before seven Winnebago warriors came along, on their 
way from Green Isle to the Four Lakes, fully armed and 
equipped. It was a direction in w^hich we did not desire any 
of that sort of force to go, the enemy being at the Four Lakes 
in great numbers. Major Whistler* gave orders to disarm 
and detain them. They were told they should be well fed, 
and treated well, whilst they behaved themselves. They ap- 
peared to feel deeply when their arms were taken from them; 
nor did they appear to like the strength and appearance of the 
military. An express arrived from General Atkinson, an- 
nouncing his approach, and directing Major Whistler to halt 
and fortify himself at the Portage, and wait his arrival, as the 
capture of the enemy could be made, with his additional force, 
with more ease and less sacrifice of Kfe. 

The object of the joint expedition of General Atkinson from 
Jefferson Barracks, below St. Louis, and of Major Whistler 
from Ft. Howard, on Green Bay, was, as has been intimated, to 
capture those who had committed the murders at Prairie Du 
Chien, and put a stop to any further aggressions of the sort. 
The Winnebagoes, it will be remembered, had been advised, 

•William Whistlek, entered the army from the Northwestern Territory as 
a Second Lieutenant, in June, 1801 ; made First Lieutenant in 1S07 ; dis- 
tinguished himself in the hattle of Maguago, 9th Aug., 1812; promoted to Cap- 
tain in Dec, 1812 ; Major, in 1826; Lieutenant Colonel in 1834, and Colonel 
in 1845. He died, at an advanced age, near Cincinnati, Dec. 21, 1863 ; after 
«lxty-two years continuous and faithful services rendered his country. 

L. C. D 


Winnebago War 


prior to the opening of the council at La Butte Des Morts, that 
the security of their people lay in the surrender of the muider- 
ers. The first intimation that this primary object would be 
accomplished, was given the day after our arrival at the Por- 
tage, in a very mysterious way. I was sitting at the door of 
my tent, when an Indian, of common appearance, with noth- 
ing over him but a blanket, came up to the bluff, and walking 
to the tent, seated himself upon his haunches beside it. This 
was almost the middle of the day. I inquired, through the 
interpreter, what was the object of his visit. After musing 
awhile, he said: '^Do not strike; when the sun is there to- 
morrow,'' — looking up and pointing to about three o'clock in 
the afternoon — ''they will come in." Who will come in? I 
asked. ''Eed Bird and We-kau," he answered. The mo- 
ment he gave the answer, he rose, wrapped his blanket about 
him, and with hurried step returned by the way he had come. 
At about three o'clock of the same day, another Indian came 
and took his position in nearly the same place, and in the same 
way, when to like questions, he gave like answers ; and at sun- 
down a third came, confirming what' the other two had said, 
with the addition that he had, to secure that object, given to 
the families of the murderers nearly all of his property. There 
appeared to me to be two objects in view by this Indian mode 
of managing the art diplomatique. One was to prevent an at- 
tack, which our near neighborhood to the point where the In- 
dian force was concentrated, led them to apprehend; the other 
to say all cause for attack was, as they viewed it, removed by 
the treble assurance given, that the murderers will, at the time 
specified, be brought in. There could be nothing more to the 

There was something heroic in this voluntary surrender. 
The giving away of property to the families of the guilty par- 
ties, had nothing to do with their determination to devote 
themselves for the good of their people, but only to reconcile 
those who were about to be bereaved to the dreadful expedi- 
ent The heroism of the purpose is seen in the fact, that the 
murders committed at Prairie du Chien were not wanton, but 

i8o Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

in retaliation for Avrongs committed upon this people by ihe 
whites. The parties murdered at the Prairie, were doubtless 
innocent of the wrongs and outrages of which the Indians com- 
plained, but the law of Indian retaliation does not require 
that he alone who commits a wrong, shall suffer for it. One 
scalp is held to be due for another, no matter from whose head 
it is taken, provided it be torn from the crown of the family, 
or people who may have made a resort to this law necessary. 
If these Indians had multiplied their victims to ten times the 
number slain by them at the Prairie, it is highly probable the 
balance of sufPering and of blood would have been greatly on 
the side of the Indians; and yet we find, under such cir- 
cumstances, a readiness on the part of the murderers, rather 
than have ''a road cut through their country with guns," 
which would subject the innocent to both affliction and death, 
to make a voluntary surrender of themselves 1 

At about noon of the day following, there were seen de- 
scending a mound on the Portage, a body of Indians — some 
were mounted, and some were on foot. By the aid of a glass 
we could discern the direction to be towards our position, and 
that three flags were borne by them — two, one in front and 
one in the rear, were American, and one in the center was 
white. They bore no arms. We were at no loss to imder- 
stand that the promise made by the three Indians, the day be- 
fore, was about to be fulfilled. In the course of half an hour 
they had approached within a short distance of the crossing 
of the Fox Eiver, when on a sudden we heard a singing. 
Those who were familiar with the air, said — "it is a death 
song!" When still nearer, some present, who knew him, said 
— "it is the Eed Bird singing his death-song!" The mo- 
ment a halt was made on the margin of the river, preparatory 
to crossing over, two scalp yells were heard. 

The Monomonees and other Indians who had accompanied 
us, were lying carelessly about upon the ground, regardless of 
what was going on, but when the "scalp-yells" were uttered, 
they sprang as one man to their feet, seized their rifles, and 
were ready for battle. Thev were at no loss to know that the 

1867] Winnebago War 1 8 1 

yells were "scalp-yells"; but they iiad not heard with suffi- 
cient accuracy to decide whether they indicated scalps to be 
taken or given; but, doubtless, inferred the first. 

Barges were sent across to receive, and an escort of military 
to accompany, them within our lines. The white flag which 
had been seen in the distance was borne by the Red Bird. 
During the crossing a rattle-snake passed me, and was struck by 
Capt. D., ^vith his sword, and partly disabled, when I ran mine 
through his neck, and holding up the slain reptile, a Monomo- 
nee Indian cut off his head with his knife. The head was 
burned to keep the fangs from doing injury by being trod up- 
on, and his body cut up into small pieces, and distributed to 
the Indians for their medicine bags — thus furnishing a new 
antidote against evil agencies, should any happen, during the 
remainder of their march. This was looked upon as another 
good omen by the Indians. 

And now the advance of the Indians had reached haK up 
the ascent of the bluff, on which was our encampment. In the 
lead was Car-i-mi-nie,'^ a distinguished chief. Arriving on 
the level, upon which was our encampment, and order being 
called, Car-i-nii-nie spoke, sayirg: ^ They are here — like 
braves they have come in — treat them as braves — do not put 
them in irons.'' This address was made to me. I told him I 
was not the big captain. His talk must be made to Major 
Whistler, who would, I had no doubt, do what was right. Mr. 
Marsh, the sub-agent, being there, an advance was made to 
him, and a hope expressed that the prisoners might be turned 
over to him. There was an evident aversion to their being 
given up to the military. I told him Mr. Marsh should be 
with the prisoners, which composed them. For the remainder 
of the incidents, I must resort to a letter which I addressed to 
the Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, giving an ac- 

*Naw-Xaw, or Car-a-man-nee, or The Walking Turtle, went on a mission 
with Tecumseh in 1809 to the New York Indians, and served with that chief 
during the campai;m of 18iH, and was present at his death at the Thames. 
He signed the treaties of 1816, 1825, 1827, 1829 and 1832. Mrs. Kinzib, in 
her charmin'? work, '.Vau-b'in, or the Early day ni Nortlv-Went—a. work too 
little known, and which well deserves to be republished, and extensively cir- 
culated — thus describes this old chief as she saw blm at the period of 1830: 
"There was Naw-Kaw, or KAR-RAY-MAn-NEE, The Walking Rain, since the 
principal chief of the nation, a stalwart Indian, with a broad, pleasant coun- 
tenance, the great peculiarity of which was an immense under lip, hanging 

1 82 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

count of this most imposing, and bj me never-to-be-forgotten 
ceremony : 

''The military had been previously drawn out in line. The 
Monomonee and Wabanackie"^ Indians were in groups upon 
their haunches, on our left flank. On the right, was the band 
of music, a little in advance of the line. In front of the center, 
at about ten paces distant, w^ere the murderers. On their 
right and left, w^ere those who had accompanied them, forming 
a semi-circle, the magnificent Red Bird, and the miserable 
looking We-kau, a little in advance of the center. All eyes 
were fixed upon Red Bird; and well they might be — for of 
all the Indians I ever saw, he is, without exception, the most 
perfect in form, in face and gesture. In height, he is about six 
feet ; straight, but without restraint. His proportions are those 
of the most exact symmetry, and these embrace the entire 
man, from his head to his feet. His very fingers are models 
of beauty. I never beheld a face that was so full of all the 
ennobling, and, at the same time, the most winning expression. 
It were impossible to combine with such a face the thought that 
he who wore it, could be a murderer ! It appears to be a com- 
pound of grace and dignity; of firmness and decision, all tem- 
pered with mildness and mercy. During my attempted anal- 
ysis of this face, I could not but ask myself, can this man be 
a murderer? Is he the same who shot^ scalped and cut the 
throat of Gagnier? His head, too — sure no head was ever 
so well formed. There was no ornamenting of the hair, after 
the Indian fashion ; no clubbing it up in blocks and rollers of 
lead, or bands of silver; no loose or straggling parts — ^but it 
was cut after the best fashion of the most civilized. 

"His face was painted, one side red, the other intermixed 
with green and white. Around his neck he wore a collar of 
blue wampum, beautifully mixed with white, which was sewn 
on to a piece of cloth, the width of the wampum being about 
two inches — whilst the claws of the panther, or wild-cat, dis- 
tant from each other about a quarter of an inch, with their 
points inward, formed the rim of the collar. Around his neck 

•Wau-ba-xa-ke£S, or the Oneida Indians, living above Green Bay. L. C, D. 


Winnebago War 


were hanging strands of wampum, of various lengths, the cir- 
cles enlarging as they descended. He was clothed in a Yank- 
ton dress — new and beautiful. The material is of dressed elk, 
or deer-skin, almost a pure white. It consists of a jacket, the 
sleeves being cut to fit his finely formed arm, and so as to 
leave outside of the seam that ran from the shoulder, back of 
the arm, and along over the elbow, about six inches of the 
material, one half of which is cut into fringe; the same kind 
of fringe ornamenting the collar of the jacket, its sides, bosom, 
and termination, which was not circular, but cut in points, and 
which also ran down the seams of the leggins, these being 
made of the same material. Blue beads were employed to 
vary and enrich the fringe of the leggins. On his feet he wore 

"A piece of scarlet cloth of about a quarter of a yard deep, 
and double that width, a slit being cut in its middle, so as to 
admit the passing through of his head, rested, one half on his 
breast, (and beneath the necklace of wampum and claws, ) and 
the other on his back. On one shoulder, and near his breast, 
was a beautifully ornamented feather, nearly white ; and about 
opposite, on the other shoulder, was another feather, nearly 
black, near which were two pieces of thinly shaven wood in 
the form of compasses, a little open, each about six inches 
long, richly wrapped around with porcupine's quills, dyed yel- 
low, red, and blue. On the tip of one shoulder was a tuft of 
horse-hair, dyed red, and a little curled, mixed up with orna- 
ments. Across the breast, in a diagonal position, and bound 
tight to it, was his war-pipe, at least three feet long, brightly 
ornamented with dyed horse-hair, the feathers and bills of 
birds. In one of his hands he held the white flag, and in the 
other the calumet, or pipe of peace. 

"There he stood. i^ot a muscle moved, nor was the ex- 
pression of his face changed a particle. He appeared to be 
conscious that, according to Indian law, and measuring the 
deed he had committed by the injustice and wrongs, and cru- 
elties of the white man, he had done no wrong. The light 
which had shone in upon his bosom from the law which de- 

184 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

manded an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, so harmon- 
ized with his conscience, as to secure its repose. As to death, 
he had been taught to despise it, confiding in that heaven, that 
spirit-land, where the game is always plenty — the forests al- 
ways green — the waters always transparent, tranquil, and pure 
— and where no evil thing is permitted to enter. He was there, 
prepared to receive the blow that should consign his body to 
the ground, and send his spirit to that blissful region, to min- 
gle with his fathers who had gone before him. 

"Tie and We-kau were told to sit down. His motions a? 
he seated himself, were no less graceful and captivating, than 
when he stood or walked. At this moment the band struck 
up Pleyel's hjTnn. Everything was still. It was, indeed, a 
moment of intense interest to all. The Red Bird turned his 
eyes toward the band; the tones operated upon his feelings in 
such a way as to produce in his coimtenance a corresponding 
pensiveness. The music having ceased, he took up his pouch, 
(which I forgot to say was a handsomely ornamented otter 
skin, that hung on his left side,) and taking from it some kin- 
nakinic and tobacco, cut the latter in the palm of his hand, 
after the Indian fashion, then rubbing the two together, filled 
the bowl of his calumet, struck fire into a bit of spunk with 
his flint and steel, and lighted it, and smoked. All the mo- 
tions employed in this ceremony were no less harmonious and 
appropriate, than had characterized his other movements. He 
sat after the Turkish fashion, with his legs crossed. 

"If you think there was anything of affectation in all this, 
you are mistaken. There Vv^as just the manner, and appear- 
ance, and look, you would expect to see in a nobly built man 
of the highest order of intelligence, and who had been taught 
all the graces of motion, and then escorted by his armies to a 
throne, where the diadem was to be placed upon his head. 

"There is but one opinion of the man, and that I have at- 
tempted to convey to you. I could not refrain from specu- 
lating on his dress. His white jacket, having upon it but a 
single piece of red, appeared to indicate the purity of his past 
life, which had been stained by only a single crime ; for all 


Winnebago War 


agree, that the Red-Bird had never before soiled his fingers 
with the blood of the white man, or committed a bad action. 
His war-pipe, bound close to his heart, seemed to indicate his 
love of war, in common with his race, which was no longer to 
be gratified. The red cloth, however, may have been indica- 
tive of his name.* 

^^AU sat, except the speakers. The substance of what 
they said was: We were required to bring in the murderers. 
They had no power over any, except two — the third had gone 
away; and these had voluntarily agreed to come in, and give 
themselves up. As their friends, they had come with them. 
They hoped their white brothers would agTee to accept the 
horses of which there were, perhaps, twenty; the meaning of 
which was, to take them in commutation for the lives of their 
two friends. They asked kind treatment for their friends, and 
earnestly besought that they might not be put in irons — and 
concluded by asking for a little tobacco, and something to eat 

"They were answered, and told, in substance, that they 
had done well thus to come in. By having done so, they 
had turned away our guns, and saved their people. They 
v/ere admonished against placing themselves in a like situa- 
tion in the' future, and advised, when they were aggrieved, 
not to resort to violence, but to go to their agent, who would 
inform their Great Father of their complaints, and he would 
redress their grievances; that their friends should be treated 
kindly, and tried by the same laws by which their Great 
Father's white children were tried; that for the present, Red 
Bird and We-kau should not be put in irons; that they 
should all have something to eat, and tobacco to smoke. We 
advised them to warn their people against killing ours; and 
endeavored, also, to impress them with a proper notion of their 
own weakness, and the extent of our power, &c. 

"Having heard this, the Red Bird stood up — the com- 
manding officer. Major Whistler, a few paces in front of the 

*Col. Ohilds, in his Recollection:? of Wisconsin, vol. IV, Wis. Hist. Colls., 
p. 173, de&cribes Keuj-Biud as he saw him on the same occasion : "Ele was 
dressed in fine style, having on a suit made of neatly dried buffalo skins, perfectly 
white, and as soft as a kid glove ; and on each shpulder, to supply the place of 
an epaulette, was fastened a perserved red-bird — hence the name of this 
noted chief, Red-Bird. 

1 86 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

center of the line, facing him. After a moment's pause, and a 
quick survey of the troops, and with a composed observation 
of his people, he spoke, looking at llajor Whistler, saying, 
'/ am ready/ Then advancing a step or two, he paused, say- 
ing, do not wish to be .put in irons. Let me be free. I 
have given away my life — it is gone — (stooping and taking 
some dust between his finger and thumb, and blowing it av/ay) 
— like that — eyeing the dust as it fell and vanished from his 
sight, then adding: would not take it back. It is gone/ 
Having thus spoken, he threw his hands behind him, to indi- 
cate that he was leaving all things behind him, and marched 
briskly up to Major Whistler, breast to breast. A platoon was 
wheeled backwards from the center of the line, when Major 
Whistler stepping aside, the Red Bird and We-kau marched 
through the line, in charge of a file of men, to a tent that had 
been provided for them in the rear, when a guard was set over 
them. The comrades of the two captives then left the ground 
by the way they had come, taking with them our advice, and 
a supply of meat and fiour, and tobacco. 

"We-kau, the ^niserable-looking being, the accomplice of 
the Red Bird, was in all things the opposite of that unfortu- 
nate brave. ISTever, before, were there two human beings so ex- 
actly, in all things, so unlike one another. The one seemed a 
prince, and as if born to command, and worthy to be obeyed; 
the other, as if he had been bom to be hanged. Meagre — cold 
— dirty in his person and dress — crooked in form — like the 
starved wolf, gaunt, hungry, and blood-thirsty — his entire ap- 
pearance indicating the presence of a spirit wary, cruel and 
treacherous. The heart, at sight of this, was almost steeled 
against sympathy, and barred against the admission of pity. 
This is the man who could scalp a child, not eleven months 
old, and in taking off its fine locks as a trophy, and to exhibit 
as a scalp, cut the back of its neck to the bone, and leave it to 
languish and die on the floor, near the body of its murdered 
father! But his hands, and crooked and miserable-looking 
fingers, had been accustomed to such bloody work. 

"The Red Bird did not appear to be over thirty years old, 


Winnebago War 

and yet he is said to be past forty. We-kau looks to be 
forty-five, and is no doubt as old as that. I shall see on 
my arrival at Prairie Du Chien, the scene of these butcheries ; 
and, as I may write you upon all matters connected with 
my tour, I will introduce you to that. The child, I for- 
got to say, by the latest accounts, yet lives, and promises 
to survive. The widow of Gagnier is also there, and I shall 
get the whole story from her mouth, and shall then, doubt- 
less, get it truly. You shall have it all, and a thousand 
things beside, that, when I left home^ I never expected to 
realize ; but having once entered upon the scenes I have passed, 
no matter with how much personal risk they were to be en- 
countered, there was no going back. I see no danger, I con- 
fess, especially now — ^but, auy how, my way is onward, and I 
shall go.'' 

I never, however, made good my promise to narrate the in- 
cidents of my travels, further than as these were embraced in 
my official returns. The above account of the surrender of 
Eed Bird will not lose any of its freshness here, I hope, from 
its having been published in pretty much the same dress in 
the newspapers, a short time after its reception by the Secre- 
tary of War, and again in the work on the Aborigines of Xorth 
America, by myself and James Hall. As it formed a part 
of the varied occurrences of my tour in IS 2 7, which I am now 
for the first time embodying, I cannot, in justice to the con- 
nection I wish to preserve of the whole, omit it. 

On the morning of the 3d, having little else to do, I busied 
myself to find out, if I could, how the Indians could, without 
danger, capture the rattle-snake. This whole country is full 
of them ; and so constant is the noise of their rattles, when 
any thing happens to molest them, that the ear is kept half 
the time deceived by what seems to be the ticking of wat<ihes, 
in a watch-maker's window. I was honored by a visit from 
one in my tent that morning, and was prompted by that call, 
perhaps, to find out in what way my civilities might best pro- 
tect me from their too close attention. I w^as told the smell of 
tobacco made the snake sick; and this explained why, in two 

i88 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

ir stances in which I had witnessed the taking of this reptile 
bj Indians, tobacco was employed. They also employ a root, 
but of herb or shrub I could not find out, which they 
pound and put on a stick; then they excite the snake to bite 
it^ when the poison of the root being taken into the snake's 
mouth, kills it. I was told they take from the neck of the 
turkey-buzzard a piece of the flesh, and dry and pound it, and 
rub their bodies with this powder. Thus guarded, the snake 
will not bite, or come near them. How true all or any part 
of all this is, I cannot vouch, never having made trial of 

At nine in the morning, after the surrender, I took leave of 
the military, and in company with Count De Lillier, Judge 
Lecuyer, and Kev. Mr. Jones, a Protestant Episcopal clergy- 
man, the first settled at Green Bay, started for a descent of the 
Wisconsin River. Having crossed the Fox Eiver to the oppo- 
site landing, on the Portage, an ox-cart was provided for our 
transportation across to the Wisconsin — the width of the Por- 
tage being about twenty-five hundred paces. The entire way 
was miry, and full of rattle-snakes. The veteran interpreter, 
Pauquet,* was employed to drive us over. The wheels of the 
cart, though broad, sank deep into the mud, and the sturdy 
beasts bent to their duty; but without the constant employ- 
ment of Pauquet's powerful arms, and the exertion of his 
great strength in applying to their sides repeated strokes from 
what seemed like a hoop or hop-pole, exciting them, mean- 
time, with his stentorian voice, and giving vent to anathemas, 
in Winnebago, with almost every breath, we must have been 
forced into some other conveyance, or taken to our feet in 
mud a foot deep, to have, in any reasonable time, reached the 

*PiEEKE Pacquette was the son of a French father and a Winnebago mother. 
H« was married, about 1818, to a woman whose father was a Canadian half- 
breed, and whose mother was a half-breed Sauk. He was the interpreter at 
the treaties with the Winnebagoes at Green Bay In ISl'S, at I'ralrie du Chiea 
in 1825, and at Rock Island in 1832. lie was active in raising a party of 
Winnebagoes, in 1832, to unite with the Americans against the hostile Sauka, 
and he fou>,'i;t in the ranks at the battle of the Wisconsin Ileisrhts. After this 
war. we find him engaged as a trader on the west side of the Wisconsin, at 

He was killed by an Indian, In September, 1836 who shot him with a car- 
bine in Portage — an assassination which grew out of his connection with the 
Sauk war, "Pacquette," says SchoolckafT, "was a man of Winnebago lineage, 
•nd was reputed to be one of the best friends and counsellors of the nation." 


Winnebago War 

Ouisconsin. But bj the aid of the hop-pole and the Winne- 
bago anathemas, both well understood, doubtless, by the oxen, 
we were carted over in safety. When, about midway, and 
durinp^ one of the numerous pauses which the oxen were wont 
to make, the man bearing the flag-staff of my canoe, struck, 
with the lower end of it, a rattle-snake that lay near where 
Pauquet was standing — for he walked the entire distance. 
The snake, enraged at the blow, gave signs of resistance, and 
apprehending it might dart its fangs into Pauquet's legs, I 
stooped from the cart, and ran it through with my sword, when 
one of the men cut off its head with an axe. Whether Pau- 
quet trusted to his leather leggins and moccasins, or their 
being well imbued with tobacco smoke, or the powdered root, 
or the buzzard's neck, I did not learn ; but he was as com- 
posed in regard to these reptiles, as if he had been mailed in 
brass or iron. 

Having crossed the Portage, cur ca^.oes, supplies and bag- 
gage being all over, we embarked at eleven o'clock, A. M., on 
the Ouisconsin. The current which we had been opposing, the 
entire length of the Pox Piver, was now in our favor; the 
waters of the Ouisconsin running from its source to the Mis- 
sissippi, as do those of the Pox Piver, on the other side of the 
Portage, into Green Bay. They first find their way through 
the Lakes into the Ocean by the St. Lawrence, and the last by 
the way of the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. Whether 
after having started for those diverse directions, from sources 
so near one another, they ever meet and mingle more in the 
deep blue sea, is a problem which I do not pretend to solve. 
I could not help thinking how closely they resembled early 
friends, who in boy-hood were hand in hand with each other, 
and rarely, for a series of years, out of one another's sight, 
when at last "some current's thwarting course" separated 
them, to meet no more forever. 

Our voyagers felt now, upon this onward current, as the 
mariner feels, when both the wind and tide, after having been 
long contrary, turn in his favor, and when he is assured there 
will be no change till he reaches the port of his destination. 

I go Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

I had engaged a fine looking Indian to join the Count as a 
voyager, hoping thereby to add to the speed of his canoe, and 
that we might, in our descent to the Mississippi, keep close 
company. I had heard much of the scenery of the Guisconsin, 
and felt that my admiration of it would be stimulated, if the 
Count, with his lustrous eyes, could be along to see the beauty 
and grandeur of the scenes, and in such close neighborhood to 
me, as to interchange sentiments and feelings in their contem- 
plation. An accident deprived the Count of the services of 
the Indian. 

The Rev. Mr. Jones, being unpracticed in the handling of 
fire-arms, was sitting on a log with the Count's double-barrelled 
gun across his lap — the muzzle pointed on a line with another 
log, at some twenty paces distant, upon which sat the Indian, 
— ^when, as luck would have it, one of the barrels was dis- 
charged, the shot rattling against the log, and scattering the 
sand about, besides a few penetrating the Indian's leggins. Up 
sprang the astonished brave and voyager, and eyeing Mr. Jones 
for a second or two, said, '^that man don't know what he is 
about" — then looking over his shoulder at Jones, walked off. 

We had not been long under way, before I saw the Count's 
force was inadequate. I made a pause till he came up, and 
transferred to his canoe one of my men ; the force proving yet 
too feeble, I assisted him with another, when onward we went 
to the music of the voyagers' songs, happy in the reflection 
that our expedition had, so far, terminated otherwise than in 
blood. We were charmed, too, at having escaped the monotony, 
as well as the tedium of the ascent of the Fox River. There 
are, it is true, upon its shores, many beautiful upland views, 
where the trees grow apart, and without undergrowth, convey- 
ing to the eye the almost certain presence of civilization. But 
in the main, its shores are level, and its waters are dark, and 
filled with the folle avoine, or wild rice, and various aquatic 
plants besides; some of them, the lily especially, very beauti- 
ful. Xature would seem, even here, to have made provision 
for the gratification of man; and, if the way was monotonous, 
she kindly scattered flowers to diversify the scene, and regale 

1867] Winnebago War 191 

the vojager. Here, on the Ouisconsin, are sandy shores, and 
sand-bars, and islands, and rolling and verdure-capped shores, 
and hills and mountains — with valleys of the richest green, in 
which theie would seem never to have been a war, even of the 
elements; and these, again, were relieved by miniature repre- 
sentations of the pictured rocks of Lake Superior. 

The water of the Ouisconsin is of the color of brandy, with 
less sediment than is f oimd in that of the Fox River, j^either, 
hcwever, should be drunk, in my opinion, without having 
first undergone the process of boiling. Every mile of our 
descent increased the variety, the grandeur, and the beauty 
of the shores. Hills shooting up into more towering heights, 
without a tree, but clothed in the brightest green; others, 
again, with summits resembling dilapidated fortifications, and 
so like them, as to cheat the observer into the belief that they 
were, sure enough, once, what they now seem to have been. 
In one of these, we noticed a tall, leafless, and dead pine, so 
exactly resembling a flag-staff, not in exterior only, but in its 
position, as to convince at least one of the party that a fortifi- 
cation had once crowned that hill, and in its destruction, the 
flag-staff had escaped the conflagration, by being only charred. 
Many of these elevations rise from the river, in the terrace 
form ; the lower, all soft, and green, and beautiful ; the upper, 
Clowned with dark evergreens, arranged so as to wear the ap- 
pearance of having been planted upon a regular plan, the whole 
conception and execution of some mind richly stored with all 
the elements of a practical science. And was it not 

"Natube, enchanting Nature, in whose form 
And Uneaments divine, I trace a hand 
That errs not?" 

We had not been many hours on the Ouisconsin before, on 
looking to my right, I saw some hundred or more Indians 
appear suddenly on the summit of a hill of some sixty feet 
elevation, overlooking the river, and form in line, with their 
rifles. What their object was I could not divine, but every 
movement seemed to indicate a purpose to greet us with a 
shower of leaden deaths. There was not a second to spare; 

192 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

so I ordered mj steersman to turn in instantly. The head of 
the canoe was in a moment changed from its line down the 
river, and headed towards the shore. This movement brought 
all their rifies across the arms of the Indians, who, being sud- 
denly struck by this prompt movement, were at a loss to com- 
prehend its meaning, and seemed resolved to await its issue. 
Our guns were concealed. On reaching the beach, I ordered 
the men to be ready for any emergency; and so, buckling on 
mj^ sword, and putting a pair of pistols in my pockets, I 
directed Ben, my steward, to fill his pockets with tobacco and 
Indian jewelry, and follow me and the interpreter up the steep 

Ben's color changed from its fine and glossy ebony to a sort 
of lived paleness, and a trembling seized him. He had often 
predicted, as well the year before, as now, that we should 
never see home again; and this he verily believed was to be 
the hour when his prophesy was to be fulfilled. This change 
in his complexion was nothing new to me, having had occasion 
t) observe it frequently, and, in my Tour to the Lakes, to re- 
cord it. 

On arriving at the summit of the hill, I stood a moment. 
The Indians had all changed their positions, and were now fac- 
ing me. ^ot a word was spoken, nor did a man of them stir. 
After a short pause, I inquired, through the interpreter, if 
their chief was present. He was. "Tell him to come and 
shake hands with me. I am from where the sun rises, and 
near his Great Father's lodge, in the great village of Washing 
ton, where I have often seen and shaken hands with many 
of the great men of the Indian race. I have come a long 
way to see them in their own country, that when I go back to 
their Great Father, I may be able to tell him how his red 
children are — what are their wants — and before I go, if I can, 
to make peace among them." The moment this was interpreted, 
the whole party gave a grunt of approbation, long, and loud 
and emphatic; w^hen a tall, aged, and good-looking Indian, 
from his position on the extreme right, walked and shook 
bands with me most cordially. I asked his name — and then 


Winnebago War 


calling him by it, said : *'You hold in your hand, the hand of a 
friend and brother^ — when the whole party advanced, and 
shook hands with me. 

Seeing their village at about a quarter of a mile back on 
the plain, I asked to be allowed to go there, that I might 
shake hands wdth the squaws and papooses, and " make them 
some presents. We marched to the village. A buffalo robe 
was spread out for me to sit upon, the calumet lighted, and we 
smoked — I, according to my custom, (for I never smoke) blow- 
ing the smoke out of the bowl of the pipe, like a steam-engine. 
T was never suspected of not relishing this great luxury, the 
prized, and cherished, and enjoyed alike by savage and civil- 
ized man. This ceremony over, I directed Ben to cut up the 
twists of tobacco into smaller portions, and divide it among the 
men. Ben was so much relieved of his terrors, as to be spe- 
cially prompt, on this occasion, and he so employed his eye in 
counting, and his judgment in cutting up the tobacco, as to 
make it hold out exactly; for this I gave him gi'eat commenda- 
tion. The distribution of the tobacco having l>een made, and 
to the high gratification of this tobacco-loving people, I pro- 
ceeded to distribute the jewelry, consisting of finger-rings^ 
made of cheap metals set with variously colored glass, and ear- 
bobs, &;c. These I threw by the handful, on the ground, which 
produced an excitement, and a display of muscular dexterity 
which told well for the activity of these at other times, indo- 
lent-looking squaws. The scene was a literal scramble, and it 
was carried on wdth the energies of the prize-fighter, and 
amidst expressions of mingled joy and surprise, that made the 
afiair quite a circumstance in the lives of these poor destitute 
people. I was happy myself, in seeing them so. 

After an hour spent in these ceremonies, I tolcl the chief 1 
was short of hands, and wanted two of his braves to accom- 
pany me to Prairie Du Chien. He shook his head, and said, 
^■Sac and Fox Indians kill them." Xever, I assured him, 
while they were with me; and that I would promise they 
should come home in safety, laden with presents. He assented, 
when there was a general rush of young men as volunteers. 

194 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

I put a hand on the two who were nearest to me, and said — 
I take these, because they came first, and not because of any 
preference; for I know they are all brave men and true. I 
now felt secure for the remainder of the distance to the Prai- 
rie, and immediately embarked and continued my voyage. 

At La Petite BocJie, forty-five miles from the Portage, at 
eight o'clock in the evening, we fell in with Gen. Atkinson and 
his command. His barges were arranged alongside the bank of 
the river, and moored there. These long keel-boats, some as 
much as thirty tons burden, with the sails of several of them 
hanging quietly in the calm of the evening against the masts; 
the numerous fires that lined the shores, around w^hich a large 
portion of the GeneraFs command of seven hundred men were 
gathered, gave to the place the appearance of a sea-port. The 
general hum of voices, the stroke of the axe, with the con- 
fused noises made of it, in so out-of-the-way a place, where 
never before had such circumstances combined, a sort of spirit- 
scene; especially as the moon^s light invested the whole, being 
made pale by the many lights, and yet paler with an occasional 
ha If -obscuration caused by the rolling up of denser portions of 
the smoke from these numerous fires. Everything in nature 
by which we were surroimded was still, save only the sounds 
that proceeded from this spot, and the plash of the paddles of 
our canoes. Presently a sentinel challenged, and demanded 
the countersign. I told him who I was, and that I was bearer 
uf tidings from Major Whistler's command, (which I had left 
that morning at the Portage,) to Gen. Atkinson. The ser- 
geant of the guard was called, who making this message known 
to G^n. Atkinson, we were invited to come along-side his barge, 
and (he being confined to his berth by a slight attack of fever) 
down into the cabin to see him. 

We were received with the courtesy that always distinguished 
this gallant officer, when I went rapidly over the events that 
had transpired, and informed him of the surrender of the mur- 
derers; commended the Ked Bird to all the kind usage which 
his unfortunate condition would permit, and especially urged 
that he might not be put in irons. I did this, because I very 


Winnebago War 

well knew he would suffer a thousand deaths rather than at- 
tempt to regain his liberty. There was no mistake in this mat- 
ter. The man had literally already parted from life, and had 
his eyes fixed more upon the spirit-land, than upon coming in 
contact again with the bitter realities of the world around him. 
All this passed, and pledging each other in a glass of wdne, 
and our best wishes for the General's health, we continued our 
voyage till ten at night, when we landed on a sand-bar for re- 
pose. Myriads of musquit-oes assailed us. Finding it impos- 
sible to endure their assaults, we determined to fly; so at two 
in the morning we struck our tents, and were again afloat, and 
going finely to the tune of the boat songs. 

At seven the next morning we were thirty miles below onr 
encampment, and forty-five from La Petite Roche. The varied 
and bold shores of the river continued still to increase in in- 
t€*rest. The color of the water is the same, and sc> is the loose 
and movable material of the bottom of the river; the sand of 
which it is composed being so fine, as when touched by any- 
thing, is seen 10 stream oil in the direction of whatever cur- 
rent may be the strongest. To this cause may be attributed 
the formation of the numerous sand-bars and islands that 
abound in this river. Gen. Atkinson doubtless knew the 
nature of the passage he would have to make, and how diffi- 
cult is the navigation of the Ouisconsin, owing to the ever- 
varying course of its channel, and its shallowness; and hence 
he secured boats that did not draw over twelve or eighteen 
inches of water. 

Everything indicates a recession of the waters of this river. 
The water-marks, sometimes high up on its shores, and bluffs, 
and hill-sides, as well as the form and fertility of the bottom 
lands and prairies, all tell, in very plain language, that this 
river was once, — but when, who knows? — capable of swim- 
ming navies. Many a tall ship might have rested on the bo- 
som of this once wide and deep, but now narrow and shallow 
river; and anchors might have been let go, the noise of whose 
chain cables would have resounded amidst those hills like 
rumbling thunder. Hills, vast, towering, irregular, many of 

196 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

them circular-crowned, increased as we approaclied the Missis- 
sippi ; and between them, stretching far off in the interior, are 
beautiful savannas, widening as thej recede from the river, and 
then terminate in fertile and richly clad table lands. 

At about sundown, we arrived at the junction of the Guis- 
consin with the Mississippi. Being in advance of the Count, 
landed, taking from our canoe as much baggage as would 
make room for him and the remainder of the company, Ben, 
on the arrival of the Count, being transferred to his CcOioe, and 
left in charge of the baggage; when we rounded to, upon the 
Mississippi, and, against the current of the river, arriving at 
Prairie Du Chien at eight o'clock, in the softest, and brightest, 
and purest moonlight I had ever beheld. I thought of every 
scene of the sort I had ever seen, and of which I had ever read ; 
of that hour when Shakespeare watched and loved the beams 
of this beautiful orb, imtil he said — 

"How sweet those moonbeams sleep ou yonder bank !" 

of those nights when I used to sit on the shore of Lake Su- 
perior, where I thought light so pure, so all-encircling, never 
came from the moon before, and where the rain-bow also took 
precedence, in the gorgeousness of its dies, in the breadth and 
nearness of its bases, so near, sometimes, as to produce an ir- 
resistible motion to wash my hands in the falling glory. I 
•have often since sought to give precedence to that lovely bow 
that spanned the Potomac, the frigate Brandywine immedi- 
ately beneath the center of its arch, on board of which we had, 
but a few hours before, placed the good La Fayette, on his re- 
turn from this country to his La Belle France. But it was vain. 
The rain-bow of Lake Superior has had, can have, no equal; 
but the moonlight of the Mississippi, on that night when I 
first beheld this Pather of Bivers, will take precedence of all 
I have ever seen before. How I wish I could paint it! The 
moon above, and the river beneath me; the glory of the 
heavens, and the silver-tipped ripples of the Mississippi, 
and the pearl-tinged forests, made brighter by the contrast 
of the dark recesses into which the moonlight had not entered, 


Winnebago War 


with the associations of the scenes around me — Pike's Hill, so 
named in honor of the gallant officer of that name, being just 
opposite — all combined, as the canoe was wheeled out upon the 
river, to fill me T-ith emotions strange, bewildering, yet sooth- 
ing; and then there was the grateful sense which my heart 
cherished for the security with which the unseen, though ever- 
present God, had ever blessed us. I had no language to ex- 
press all these then, and I have none now; but the memory of 
it will never die ! 

We were now on the theatre of the recent Indian murders, 
tidings of which had gone forth; and reaching St. Louis and 
Jefferson Barracks, upon the one hand, and Green Bay and 
Fort Howard upon the other, had put in motion about a thou- 
sand men, to interpose the appropriate shield to arrest and ex- 
tinguish the spirit that had led to these butcheries. "Well 
would it have been, if, when the bayonets of the nation had 
been dispatched to punish the unenlightened, the untutored 
Indians, for the execution of the provisions of the Lex Talionis, 
the only law known to them, a corresponding energy, and the 
adequate power, had been employed to compel the civilized of 
our own race to treat these unfortunate people as human be- 
ings, and if there could be found no place for kindness in these 
relations, to enforce the obligation to treat them with at least 
common justice. 

Prairie Du Chien is said to have been once the seat of a 
Fox Chief named The Dog. The level land, upon part of 
which the village stands, was once, doubtless, part of the bed 
of the Mississippi. When forsaken by the waters, the channels 
of the river running close to the opposite or southern shore, 
the deserted lands became a prairie. Being now shorn of 
its native grass and flowers, the entire area has become a waste. 
When a prairie The Dog was its principal occupant, with his 
band perhaps, and its owner— when the French gave it the 
appellation i'. yet bears of La Prairie Du Chien, or the Prairie 
of the Dog. 

This area is composed of several thousand acres of land. 
From W. S. W. to JS". IST. E., (the Mississippi running at this 

198 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

plaxje due ^N". "W., and "being not over four hundred yards 
wide) it may be one mile and a half in breadth, and in length 
from four to five miles. The hills opposite rise abiiiptly out 
of the river. They are irregular, but covered with trees. On 
the east are hills corresponding in height, but wearing no foli- 
age. The rocks rise to some three hundred feet above their 
base, with a show of the blue and the white of the lime of 
which they are composed, and with many a water mark to tell 
how high up their towering ascent the waters of the Missis- 
sippi once reached. And then the most hasty glance will sat- 
isfy any one that the two sides were once united; but in what 
age of the world, nobody can tell. Ages may have been re- 
quired for the waters cf the Mississippi to have worn away the 
opposing masses, making for their transit to the ocean so wide 
a passage as is now opened at that spot; and yet, only about 
four hundred yards of it are now occupied by the descending 

The buildings of the Prairie are of wood, are old, and gen- 
erally in a state of decay. The only two good houses here are 
Joseph Kolette's, and a trader's by the name of Lockwood, 
I believe. There appeared to be about one hundred of these 
decaying tenements, the old picket Eort standing on the plain, 
a little north of the village, quite a ruin. 

My first duty on arriving at the Prairie was to fulfil my 
promise made to the Indian chief, by returning to him safely 
his two young braves, laden with presents. I took them to 
the public store, and literally loaded them with good and use- 
ful Indian supplies, and of every variety. This done I pro- 
cured an escort to attend and protect them on their journey 
across the country to their village. They arrived, as I after- 
wards learned, in safety. I have often heard since of the in- 
quiries which these people make after the "Big Captain," as 
their Indian term, applied to myself, being interpreted, im- 
ports; the prefix "'big,'' not relating so much to my size, as to 
their conception of my capacity to confer benefits upon them, 
and from my relations to the Government. 

This duty performed, I rode to the scene of the recent mur- 


Winnebago War 


ders, attended by my companions, including Ben, who mani- 
fested great anxiety to see tlie place where the Indian had 
actually carried out upon others, those plans of destruction 
which he had so often anticipated would be made personal to 
himself. The scene of these butcheries is distant from the vil- 
lage, in an easterly direction, about three miles. I received 
the whole story from the widow of one of the murdered men, 
Gagnier by name, who was, at the time, proprietor of the log 
house in which he was killed. Gagnier was a haK-breed, his 
mother having been Indian, and his father French. The door 
of this one-story log tenement fronts east, and a window oppo- 
site, of course, west. A large tree gTOWs near its south-western 
corner. Gagnier was sitting on a chest, on the left of the 
door. At the window his wife was washing clothes; on her 
left was the bed, in which a child, eleven months old, was 
sleeping. On her right, and a little back of her, sat a dis- 
charged soldier, named Lipcap ; and this was the situation of 
the family when "vYan-nig-sootsh-kau, or the Red Bird, We- 
kau, or The Sun, and a third Indian entered. Visits of In- 
dians being common, no particular attention was paid to them. 
They were, however, received with the usual civility, and asked 
if they would have something to eat. They said yes, and 
would like some fish and milk. 

Gagnier had, meantime, seen something peculiar in the 
looks and movements of these Indians, as is supposed, which 
led him to reach up, and take from brackets just over his head, 
his rifle, which, as Mrs. Gagnier turned to get the fish and 
milk, she saw lying across Gagnier's lap. At the moment 
she heard the clich caused by the cocking of the Red-Bird's 
rifle, which was instantly followed by its discharge. She 
looked and saw that her husband was shot. At the same mo- 
ment, the third Indian shot old Lipcap, when Mrs. Gagnier 
seeing We-kau, who had lingered about the door, about to 
rush in, she met him, made fight, and wi-ested from him his 
rifle. He ran out, she pursuing him, employing all her ener- 
gies to cock the rifle and shoot him, but, by some mysterious 
cause, was rendered powerless — ^'feeling,'' as she expressed it, 

2 00 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

"like one in a dream, trying to call, or to ran, but without the 
ability to do either." To save himself, We-kau kept running 
round the big tree at the corner of the house, well knowing if 
he should put off in a line, she would have better aim, and be 
more likely to kill him. After a few turns round the tree, 
and finding she had no power over the rifle, she turned short 
about, and made for the village, bearing the rifle with her, to 
give the alarm; which, being given, she returned, followed by 
a posse of armed men, and found her infant, which she had 
left, covered up in the bed .on the floor, scalped, and its neck 
cut, just below the occiput, to the bone. This was the work of 
We-kau, who being intent on having a scalp — the other two 
having secured theirs — there being no other subject, took one 
from the head of the child. The knife, from the examination 
made of the head, was applied in front of the crown, and 
brought round by the right ear, and far down behind, and up 
again on the other side, the object seeming to be, to get as 
much hair as he could. In the turn of the knife, at the back 
of the head, the deep cut was given, which found its way to 
the bone. 

The child, when I saw it, was comfortable, and I believe it 
recovered — ^but the sight of a rifle, even at that tender age, 
when one might suppose it could not distinguish between a rifle 
and anything else, would terrify it almost into fits. Young as 
it was, it must, from its place in the bed, have seen a rifle, in 
connection with what it was made itself, so immediately after, 
to suffer. I made the mother presents for herself and child. 

Governor Cass, after our first parting at Green Bay, arrived 
at the Prairie just after these murders had been committed. 
The inhabitants being, as was natural, in a state of great alarm, 
he devised the best means of defence in his power, and de- 
scended the Mississippi with tidings of the out-break, to Gen. 
Atkinson. From the day the Governor left Green Bay, till his 
return to it, which was four weeks^ he had voyaged in a bark 
canoe sixteen hundred miles — this was going at an average rate 
of about sixty miles the day, including a tarry of one day at 
the Prairie, and three at St. Louis. 


Winnebago War 


^Notwithstanding we bore to the Prairie the tidings of the 
surrender, there still remained, in the minds of the inhabitants, 
some lingering apprehensions that more of the same kind of 
bloody work might await them. They thought the war-cloud 
had not yet spent itself. But nothing surprised them so much, 
as that the hitherto peace-loving Red Bird should, have been 
guilty of such conduct. He was not only well-kno^n, but 
was, also, the pride of the Prairie. Such was the confidence 
reposed in him, that he w^as always sought after as a protector, 
and his presence was looked upon as a pledge of security 
against any out-break that might be attempted. Indeed, when 
husbands, and brothers, and sons, had occasion to leave their 
homes, the families considered themselves quite secure, if the 
Red Bird could be procured to see to their safety. What had 
happened to induce him to act the part he had acted, was a 
mystery to all. As to We-kau, he was known and abhorred 
as one of the most bloody-minded of his race. Of the third, 
whose name I could not learn, they knew but little. 

All this mystery, however, w^as, at last, solved. There had 
been great indignities offered to the band near the St. Petere, 
to which Red Bird had become allied, and personal violence 
committed upon some of their leading men, and by those 
whose station ought to have taught them better; and whose 
authority and power should have been differently exercised. 
The leading chiefs counselled upon those acts of violence, and 
resolved on enforcing the Indian's law — retaliation. Red Bird 
was called upon to go out, and 'Hake meat/\as, they phrase it 
.INot wishing to appear a coward, he undertook the enterprise, 
secretly rejoicing that the business had been referred to him; 
for he resolved to make a circuit, and return, saying he could 
find no meat He did so, and was upbraided, and taunted, 
and called ''coward/' and told that he knew very well, if he 
had the spirit to avenge the vtrongs of his people, he could, by 
going to the Prairie, get as much meat as he could bring home. 
This fired him, and he resolved to redeem his character as a 
brave; when, beckoning to We-kau, and another Indian, he 
told them to follow him. They proceeded to the Prairie. 

2 02 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Gagnier's was not the first house they entered, with the view 
of carrying out their purpose. If I mistake not, their first 
visit was to the house of Mr. Lockwood, who was then ab- 
sent. His interesting wife was at home, and her life was un- 
doubtedly saved by the presence of an old Frenchman on a 
visit to her, who not only understood the Winnebago language, 
but knew the parties; and he also was known to them. They 
had respect for him — ^he had been their friend. So, after lin- 
gering about the house for a season, they quit the premises, 
and crossed the praine to Gagnier's, and there executed their 
bloody purpose, as I have narrated.^ 

Addressing a few lines to Gen. Atkinson, still urging a 
lenient treatment for the Red Bird, I prepared for the descent 
of the Mississippi; and^ accordingly, after having partaken of 
the hospitality of Rolette, I embarked with my party 
in my bark canoe, and at 3 P. M., of the 8th of Sep- 
tember, I was again upon the bosom of the Mississippi, and 
going, with its descending current, onward to St. Louis. Con- 
tinued on till 6 o'clock that evening, and encamped twenty 
miles below. T\Tiat had been selected as a place of repose for 
the night, proved to be a musquito hive — for they literally 
swarmed there. At six in the morning, after a night of sulier- 
ing, caused by the stings of those pestilent lancers, and of in- 
convenience occasioned by the rain, we pursued our voyage. 
The bed of the river had now widened to about two miles — 
the shores on the eastern side broken, scalloped, and barren of 
trees, with nothing of verdure but grass ; whilst on the west- 
em, they were cro^vned with trees, and altogether very beau- 

Arriving at Du Buque's, sixty miles below the Prairie, we 

♦Besides Red Bird and We-kau, there were three other Indiana imprisoned. 
Red Bird died In prison. Two of the prisoners were eventually discharged 
for lack of evidence against them ; while We-kau or Wa-xi-ga, or The Sun, and 
probably his and Red-Bird's accomplice in the Gagnier and Lipcap murder, 
Chick-hox-sic, or Little Bceuf, or, more properly, The Buffalo Calf, were tried 
and convicted and by Judge Doty sentenced to be hung December 26, 1828. 
President Adams, however, sent on a pardon bearing date November 3, 1828, 
upon the receipt of which they were liberated. Judge Gale, in an unpublished 
paper read before the Society, states that We-kau, or The Sun died of the small- 
pox at Prairie du Chien in 1836 ; and the Buffalo Calf, about 1847, and was 
burled three miles above Galesville, on the high bank on the west side of 
Beaver Creek. 

Red-Bied, says Judge Gale, left a son, who aied In 1853, on the St Peter's 

RlvPr tBitU i-Via email. T. H Tt 


Winnebago War 


stopped, and visited his grave. This grave is on a high bluff, 
or point of land, formed by the junction of the Black Eiver 
with the Mississippi, on the west side of the latter. A village 
of Fox Indians occupied the low lands south of the bluff — 
of these Indians we procured the guide who piloted us to Du 
Buque^s last resting place. The ascent was rather fatiguing. 
Over the grave was a stone, covered with a roof of wood. 
Upon the stone was a cross, on which was carved, in rude let- 
ters, '^Julian Du Buque, died 24:th March, 1810, aged 45 
years/' Xear by was the burial spot of an Indian Chief. We 
returned to our canoes, embarked, and proceeded sixteen miles 
farther, to Fever River, and up that River to Galena, arriving 
after night-fall. The river sent forth a most disagreeable odor. 
It appeared to be the very hotbed of bilious fever. At Ga- 
lena, I visited the mines and smelting establishments, at that 
time in their infancy. In the previous July, eight hundred 
thousand pounds of lead had been smelted, and, perhaps, a 
million pounds in August. 

The Winnebagoes were in a state of great excitement, caused 
by the intrusions of the whites on their lands. They had, af- 
ter having remonstrated for a long time in vain, made up their 
minds to endure it no longer, and had so informed Mr. Con- 
ner, the sub-agent. A warning was circulated among the 
miners, who replied, ^'we have the right to go just where we 
please." Everything appeared threatening. Two thousand 
persons were said to be over the lines, as intruders upon lands 
belonging to the Indians. The Indians had fallen back, and 
sent word to the sub-agent, that "he would see them no more" 
— ^meaning as friends. 

The white population was supposed to be, at that time, from 
three to five thousand, the larger portion at Galena. At least 
fifteen hundred, alarmed for their safety, caused by the appre- 
hended disturbances, had quit the country. There appeared to 
be no time to lose; and as justice was all these harassed peo- 
ple desired, I adopted measures, at once, to secure it to them, 
by restoring to them their rightful possessions. A general re- 
turn to a peaceful order of things immediately ensued. 

2 04 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

This overt act, this trespass on their grounds, icas the egg out 
of which the Black Haiuk war was hatched. There was no ne- 
cessity for that war, when, some few years after, it did break 
out. It was only needed that the same justice should be con- 
tinued to the Indians; the same regard shown to their rights, 
and that war would never have occurred. At the time it broke 
out, the places that had hitherto been filled by thoso whose ex- 
perience had fitted them for the rightful and harmonious ad- 
justment of such difficulties, were filled with strangers. Hence 
the Black Hawk war; and hence, also, the Seminole war. 
Injustice and had faith, combined with the absence of the need- 
ed intelligence, and that indispensable pre-requisite, experience 
— ^were the causes of both these wars, and of the waste of the 
blood and treasure that attended them; but the loss of this 
blood, and of this treasure, could be endured, if, in the origin 
and progress, and temiination of these wars, the national honor 
had not been tarnished, and our name, as a people and nation, 
held up to the civilized world as unjust^ cruel and treacherous. 
It is painful to recur, even thus slightly, to the history of those 
wars, and, for the present, I pass on, first recording my judg- 
ment against them, against their necessity, and against the 
'policy that originated them, as well as the measures that were 
adopted for carrying them on. 


Reminiscences of Wisconsin 


Early Wisconsin 

By John H. Fonda 

The following series of historical papers were written by the editor of the 
Prairie du Chien Courier, as dictated by the aged pioneer, whose name they 
bear, and appeared in that paper, commencing with the number of Feb. I5th, 
1858, and extending into May following. "We would advise all," says the 
editor, "to read the Early Reminiscences, as they are extremely interesting, and 
contain many historical facts, that will pay for the time spent in perusal. The 
subject of these sketches has been in the West for over forty years, and thirty 
years a resident of Prairie du Chien. He has lived to see most of the early 
pioneers carried to the grave. His life has been an eventful one, abounding in 
incidents of travel, camp and field, that will prove interesting to our readers. 
They are as correct and truthful as memory can make them." 

Mr. Fonda was born in Watervliet, Albany county, N. T., and is still resid- 
ing in Prairie du Chien. We have the high authority of the venerable Rev. 
Alfred Branson, of Prairie du Chien, for assuring the reader, that "Mr. 
Fonda's narrative is as reliable as anything of the kind given from memory." 

No. I. 

Some few evenings ago, we were sitting by the fireside, in 
the house of one of the oldest pioneers now living at Prairie 
Du Chien, and listening, as is our wont, to the early history of 
the country, as the old settler related it. His seemed to have 
been an eventful life, and at our earnest solicitation "he lived 
his life o'er again." Below we give a part of the old back- 
woodsman's history: 

You want to know my history? But it's not the first time 
I have been asked to tell it. In the year 1840, there was a 
person who came out here to talk with the old residents, and 
get facts, from which to write a book. He often came to my 
house to hear me talk. I told him a great many anecdotes, 
traditions, and incidents of frontier life, but though I read his 

2o6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

book afterwards, I could not recognize them, for lie had dressed 
them up in new language, or changed their meaning en- 

Well, I've been over about every one of the States, and Ter- 
ritories, which, let me tell you, is a good deal of country, and 
I hope, before I die, to travel over some of it again; especi- 
ally that portion between here and York State. I was bom 
in Albany County, iST. Y., and of a good family. My 
father kept me at school, until I had obtained what was then 
called a good English education, and it being my parent's de- 
sire that I should follow a profession, he placed me in the 
office of a prominent lawyer, in my native town, where I 
studied law, with the assistance of the IsiWjeT and his large 
law library. But, after remaining in the lawyer's office about 
two years, I caught the emigration fever, a disease that pre- 
vailed pretty generally, at that time, and a company being 
about to start for Texas, I took advantage of the circumstance 
to satisfy my desire for travel, and cast my lot with them. 
Bidding my foUis a long farewell — (long, for I've never seen 
them since) — we departed to seek adventure in the Far West 
And we got our share, I tell you! This was more than forty 
years ago, and the country west of the Alleghany Mountains 
was new. Pew and far between w^ere the white settlements, 
while the country was filled with tribes of Indians, who hunted 
the deer, bear, elk, and other game that afforded food or fur. 

Our course lead through the State to Buffalo, where we took 
boat to Cleveland, thence south through the State of Ohio to 
Cincinnati, where we embarked on flat-boats, and floated down 
the Ohio Hiver into the Mississippi, which we went down as 
far as ^Tatchez. At ^Tatchez we stopped to sell the flat-boats. 
The inhabitants were French, Spaniards and Creoles. The 
boats were sold to an old half-breed trader named Le Blanc, 
for some horses, a covered wagon and a team of mules. Before 
leaving [N'atchez, one of our party was seized with the yellow 
fever and died. After burying our comrade, and completing 
our outfit, we were ferried over to the west side of the Missis- 
sippi into Louisiana, by the old trader, who charged an exor- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 207 

bitant price for his service — so much, so, that I rerQember the 
company went on without paving him. 

From Isatchez we traveled directly west imtil we struck the 
Red Kiver; this wo followed up stream as high as where the 
Port Towson Barracks are, and camped on a branch, or creek, 
called Le Bontte Run. Here the emigrants halted for a while 
ta recruit, and holding a consultation for future proceedings, 
which resulted in a determination to settle on the prairie land 
near v/hat they called the Cross Timbers, a tract of country 
watered by numerous streams, well timbered, and with soil of 
the richest qualities. But the novelty the journey promised 
at the start, had been sobered down to a stern reaiiry au^iuj,- 
the last six months, and instead of accompanying the party 
into the then Mexican territory, I remained with a Scotchman, 
who had taken a Choctaw squaw for a wife, and kept a trad- 
ing post on the head waters of the Sabine River. With this 
Scotchman, I stayed during the wdnter 1819, and in the spring 
of 1820 went do^vn to New Orleans, with five voyageurs, to 
get a keel-boat load of goods for the Scotch trader, who had 
entrusted me with the business, for he took a liking to me, 
and knew of no other person in whom he could put as much 
confidence. The Red River w^as a narrow, crooked, turbid 
stream, steep banks on either side, and filled w^ith snags; but 
the winter rains had swollen it, so we floated down without 

On reaching i^ew Orleans, I had no little trouble with the 
boatmen, whom I did not know how to manage at that time, 
though experience afterwards taught me the modus operandi. 

It was eight or ten weeks before I had collected all the In- 
dian goods; but what hindered most was the indolence of the 
French voyageurs, who would go to some of the low dance 
houses in the town, and spree al! night, which made them use- 
less all the next day ; so in one or two instances I was obliged 
to hire Creoles to assist in loading goods that had been brought 
to the river. 

One evening after the boat's load was complete, and the men 
pretty well over the previous night's frolic, I gave orders to 

2o8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

move up stream. But, as for starting to go back, the men 
wouldn't listen to anything of the kind, as there was to be a 
grand fandango in town that night, and thej had all an- 
ticipated going there. They went, and I remained on board 
all night to watch the boat and goods. 

!N"ext morning the men came staggering in, and threw them- 
selves down on the rolls of calico and blankets, where they 
slept until afternoon. About two o'clock they had all got up, 
and were preparing some food, when I gave them to under- 
stand that we must start at sun-down. They gave no answer, 
and having ate, they went to sleep again. 

As the sun was going out of sight, I roused the men, direct- 
ing them to get out the tow-line, poles, and to run up stream. 
Thej' paid no attention to what I said, but gathered around one 
of their number, a big half-breed, who insolently told me that 
it would be impossible for us to ascend Eed Eiver, because of 
high water and the strong current at this season of the year. I 
knew the fellow was lying, for I had seen the river the last 
summer, and knew that if we had any trouble it would be from 
low water. And I was obliged to give the man a severe 
whaling, tying his hands and feet, and threatening the others 
with a similar dose, before they would go to their duty. 

The men worked steadily that night, part of the time towing 
and poling, and sometimes taking advantage of the eddies in 
the lea of projecting points. The big half-breed begged to be 
released the next morning, and made no more trouble during the 
trip. The boat soon entered Eed Eiver, where we found suffici- 
ent water to float us, but had to make a number of portages be- 
fore reaching what is called La Grange, a small French settle- 
ment, (the French claimed all west of the Mississippi in those 
days,) but the men did not offer to leave at this point, for they 
paid strict obedience to me since I punished their leader, and 
were growing more respectful each day as we approached the 
end of our journey. 

We started in June, and had been gone three months, and it 
being September, I was anxious to get back, for the goods were 
much needed at the trading post. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 209 

On the 23d of September, (I kept a journal,) we were met 
about twenty miles below the trader's block-bouse, by one of 
bis half-breed sons, who had come to take command of the 
keel-boat and crew, so I might go ahead and give in my report 
of the trip, before the boat-men had a chance to make any of 
their usual complaints. This custom was undoubtedly a good 
one, though I did not take advantage of it to the detriment of 
the men, but gave a favorable report of everything. When 
the boat aiTived, Mons. Jones, as the old Scotchman was called, 
met them as they landed, praised the men for their faithful- 
ness, and paid them what little might be due them, giving to 
each a trifling present. jSTow, I had observed while acting as 
clerk the previous winter, that a few beads, paints or cheap 
calicoes, would purchase many valuable furs; and after going 
dowa with the bales of skins, I had learned how, after receiv- 
ing the cargo of goods, that a considerable sum was placed to 
my employer's credit, which made the fur trade appear very 
profitable in my eyes. So I readily agreed to receive what 
wages were due me, in goods, hoping to make a large profit on 
them. The old Scotchman did not seem over pleased with the 
goods I had selected by his direction; however, he paid me 
with some of them. 

And thus ended my connection with the first and last expe- 
dition that I ever accompanied on Red River, or the lower 
Mississippi, and also the detailed account of it, which is as 
correct as memory will allow me to relate. 

I clerked for the trader during the fall and winter of 1820, 
but had very few opportunities to sell my goods, for good rea- 
sons : first, the goods I had were not suitable ; and if they had 
been, I could not have traded them, for the old Scotchman, who 
had been an engage in the Hudson Bay Fur Company, was 
exceedingly grasping, and could not let me buy fur on private 
account, any where near the trading post. This prompted me 
to make several excursions among the Shawnee and Osage In- 
dians, from whom I got a few packs of valuable fur. But, 
though there was an excitement about a trader^s life that had 
a charm for me, yet often, when camped by a sheltered spring. 

2IO Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

ambition would whisper, '^jou have another mission to 

Soon after the grass w^as well up, in the Spring of '23, 1 put 
my trappings on board of an old pack-mule, and straddling a 
mustang colt, started for Santa Fe along with two fellows who 
had come up from Xew Orleans. My companions were agree- 
able enough, but seemed to have no other motive than to see 
the country, and enjoy some of the pleasures of hunter life, 
they had ''heered tell on." 

We traveled to the source of Red Eiver through the Co- 
manche country, north to the forks of the Canadian River 
where we took the old Santa Fe Trail, which led us over and 
through the southern spur of the Rocky Mountains, to Santa 
Fe, where we arrived without any of those thrilling adven- 
tures, or Indian fights, that form the burden of many travelers' 
stories. We had expected to meet Indians, and were prepared 
for them, but aside from a party of Kioways, with whom I 
tried to trade, we did not see any. 

At Santa Fe, I lost sight of my traveling companions among 
the traders, and soon left the trading post for Taos, where I 
passed the winter. The houses were all one story high, and 
built of clay or large gray brick. The people were Spaniards, 
Mexicans, Indians, a mixed breed, and a sprinkling of trappers. 

Taos was a lively wintering place, and many were the fan- 
dangoes, frolics, and fights, which came off during the season 
I stayed there. But, though at an age when a young man is 
most impulsive, I seldom had a desire to join in the dance, and 
never had but two personal affrays, which, owing to my super- 
ior strength, terminated in my favor. 

In May, 1824, I had become perfectly disgusted with Taos, 
and inhabitants, for the latter were a lazy, dirty, ignorant set, 
and as a whole, possessed less honor than the beggaily Win- 
nebagoes about Prairie Du Chien, at the present time. Inform- 
ing the Spaniard of my intention to leave, I went down to 
S'anta Fe. Here I found a company of traders preparing to 
cross the plains, and soon made the acquaintance of a St. 
Louis merchant, who engaged me to oversee the loading and 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 211 

unloading of his three wagons, when ever it was necessary to 
cross a stream, which frequently happened. 

The whole caravan of. wagons, cattle, oxen, horses, mules 
left Sante Ee in good condition; but the number that reached 
the Missouri River, was not so large — the oxen and cattle died 
from thirst, the horses and mules became exhausted and were 
left — and disease did the business for the men in some cases. 
It was a hard journey, and one that I never cared to repeat. 
Yet, it has always appeared to me, that the barren country, 
east of the Canadian River, would at some day, prove val- 
uable. It is rich in minerals. The ground in some places was 
covered with pieces of a crustated substance, that tasted like 
saloratus. There were several springs of a volcanic nature. 

Prom the merchant, whose name was Campbell, I learned 
much of Mexico, its climate, products, people and geopraphy. 
He had been down the Del Xorte, and into the interior as far 
as Sonora, where he married the daughter of a Mexican. I 
took great pleasure in hearing this man talk, and probably I 
gained more knowledge of Mexico from his conversation, than 
in any other way. 

It was October before we got to Saint Louis, which place T 
saw for the first time, and Campbell having no further needl 
of my services, paid me in hard Mexican dollars, and I left, 

Having now been absent from home about six years, and! 
possessing the means to carry me back, I was tempted to return- 
But chance threw me into the society of a person named 
Ejiox, a mason by trade, who persuaded me to follow the 
same business. Being naturally of a mechanical turn, I was 
soon able to earn fair wages. I worked steadily at the mason 
work and at brick laying, for fifteen months, at the end of 
which period I was dubbed a mason, and could also do a pas^ 
sable job of plastering — the last accomplishment stood me in 
pretty well, when Fort Crawford was built. 

It was in the year 1825 that I had heard of Prairie Du 
Chien, and made up my mind to see the country in that direc- 
tion. ^ -\ before proceeding to give you an account of the early 

2 12 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

history of Wisconsirij as far back as the year 1825, let me first 
tell you what hardy exercise and Western life have done for 
my constitution. 

No. 2 

I should have told you, that when a boy I was uncommonly 
large for my years; and it was my delight to swim, ride, 
run, wrestle, fish and hunt, in all which robust and athletic 
sports, I greatly excelled. And it is possible, that this love 
of sport, interfered not a little with the course of my studies, 
for my father sometimes had to reprimand me, and limited 
my hunting excursions to one day in the week, and that 
was generally Saturday. So, in consideration of the short 
allowance that the restriction gave me, I frequently extended 
my hunts to two days, thus including the first day of the week, 
and appropriating it to my purpose. I can recollect on one 
occasion, when about sixteen years of age, I was along with 
two or three young companions, hunting ducks and other 
water fowl, on a small branch of the Mohawk river. It was in 
the spring of the year, and one of the early freshets caused 
by the melting of the snows on the Catskill mountains, had 
swollen the creek and overflowed large tracts of low land, 
thus forming an admirable feeding ground for mallard, wid- 
geon and numerous other wild-fowl, that instinct taught to 
leave the sea coast for these inland marshes, where the food 
they liked was most plenty. The ducks flew best in the morn- 
ing and latter part of the afternoon, and were almost as abun- 
dant as they are here on the Mississippi. 

What I am now going to relate, happened on our second 
day out, which perchance was one of those first days of the 
week. We had hunted with good success the day before, and 
were determined to have one day more. But the wind had 
changed, and the weather was raw, and thougb we waited pa- 
tiently all the forenoon, the ducks did not come in much, so 
very few were killed. It was very cold and chilly, but having 
forgot the tinder-box, (there were no phosphorus matches then) 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 213 

we did not light a fire as we would like to have done. Late in 
the afternoon, as we were lying in a clump of willows, on a sort 
of peninsula between the stream and a pond made by the rise, 
the ducks began to fiy over us in clouds and settle down on 
the pond. This was what we had been waiting for; but while 
waiting, we had got so benumbed by the cold wind, that it was 
with difficulty we could load our guns, and after discharging 
them with indifferent success, I was determined to have a fire, 
before another duck was shot at. So, directing my com- 
panions to collect what dry leaves, twigs and wood they could, 
I proceeded to ignite it in this manner: Having arranged the 
leaves and twigs properly, I took a piece of gun-wadding, and 
filling it with powder, laid it among the leaves, upon which a 
handful of powder was also thrown. After this, I opened the 
pan of my fowling-piece — percussion caps being unheard of at 
that time — and putting in a good priming, pulled back the 
hammer, and placing the gun near the leaves, pulled the 
trigger. The ''fiash-in-the-pan/' was instantaneously followed 
by another flash that made me start backward, with haste. 
My hair and eye-brows were badly burnt, and my right hand 
was severely scorched. 

The fire burned briskly in the willows, but I had enough 
fire in my hand, without wishing for more. As we rode home 
that evening, few words were spoken, and when the wagon 
stopped in front of our house, I alighted, and went directly to 
my room. So severe were my burns, that they kept me con- 
fined to the house for six long weeks; during this time I was 
under the care of my mother. God bless her! she is dead 
now. That kind mother tried to impress upon my mind the 
duty I owed to my Heavenly Father — she advised me to re- 
gard the commandment, ^'Kemember the Sabbath, &c/' and 
those early injunctions have never been forgotten, though often 
disregarded- But it was not until the following fall, that I 
shouldered my gun and commenced to hunt again. Then 
came back my old roving habit — with it the fondness for man- 
ly sports, hunting included. 

This early training, together with the almost constant ex- 

2 14 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

ercise I had experienced, during my wandering mode of life, 
had toughened my muscles and so completely developed me 
physically, that I was no mean match for two ordinary men; 
besides, the desire to behold new scenes, had grown stronger 
than ever. 

It was no other than a natural consequence then, that hav- 
ing heard of Prairie Da Chien, and the '^Lead Diggings" 
south-east of it, that I should have a desire to take a trip up 
the Mississippi River to the Mineral Eegion; from where re- 
ports came, of fortunes being made by prospecting — these 
stories fomied alluring inducements. 

Having some money, and a sound constitution that five 
years of border life had made capable of enduring any degree 
of hardship and fatigue, I left St. Louis, and started up the 
river in a little Ohio steam-boat, — I believe steam-boats com- 
menced running above St. Louis the same year I left, 1825, — 
loaded with army stores for military posts on the Upper Mis- 
sissippi. The boat proceeded up stream 'till we reached the 
mouth of the Illinois River, Avhere we met a keel-boat coming 
down, on board of which was an express, bound with dis- 
patches for the commanding officer at Jefferson Barracks. 
They brought reports of Indian murders in the north, and 
the same boat bearing the dispatches had been attached, 
and had many ball mai*ks on its sides, also a wounded man on 
board. The steam-boat took the express aboard, and was about 
to return with him, to St. Louis, so I bid Captain Bates good- 
bye, and left his boat. I learned now, that the Mining Region 
was the scene of the Indian troubles — that the inhabitants 
were leaving the country through fear, and the greatest mis- 
ery and confusion prevailed at the '^Diggings.'' So, instead 
of continuing up the Mississippi as intended, I joined a party 
of five Frenchmen, who designed going to Green Bay, and 
having no definite object in view at the time, I agreed to go 
with them. We had little knowledge of the route, but one of 
the Frenchmen had somewhere seen an old outline map, and 
assured us we could reach the Lakes by going up the Illinois 
river. We had entered the river and gone up a few miles 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 215 

from its mouth, when we were seen by some Indians, who 
made signs for us to approach the shore. 

After some hesitation we landed, and, to the disappointment 
of the Frenchmen, were received in a most friendly way by 
the Indians, who treated us with roasted ducks and venison. 
They furnished us a guide for a small reward, and we resumed 
our course without entertaining any further alarm on account 
of Indians. The weather was delightful, and we enjoyed our- 
selves as well as early travelers ever did. The river afforded 
splendid scenery; at times it flowed through large prairies, 
that formed a boundless area of fertile country, covered with 
luxuriant grass, and on which we frequently saw deer and elk 
feeding. Water fowl were abundant, and we could feast on 
them at every meal; while the river was swarming with excel- 
lent fish, that often formed a delicious addition to our other 
fare. There was no difficulty in killing game along that beauti- 
ful stream. Hardly an hour of the day passed but we had op- 
portunities to shoot deer from the canoes, for it was the latter 
part of June, and in the heat of mid-day the animals would 
oome down to the river, where in the shade of small groves that 
lined the river, they found a cool retreat. One of our party, 
a diminutive Frenchman, had a long Canadian duck-gun, of 
which he never ceased boasting; yet seldom confirmed his 
words, by making use of it. The barrel of the gun, indepen- 
dent of the stock, was full five feet in length. I had curiosity 
to see how it could shoot, and asked the owner to let me try it. 
He let me have the gun, and I loaded it with a heavy charge 
of powder, and seven slugs or pieces of bar lead, and then laid 
it beside me, in readiness for the first good shot. 

Many chances offered where it was easy to have killed deer, 
but no notice was paid to them, and we continued to paddle 
up the river until near noon, when, just as the canoe passed 
around a head-land, I observed a noble stag, standing knee deep 
in water, on a bar, near the outlet of a small stream. He was 
about seven hundred feet from the canoe, with his side toward 
us, when I raised the long gun and fired. The deer dropped 
without a struggle, and, on hauling him ashore, we found that 

2i6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

every slug had struck it. Some had entered his glossy side, 
one broke a shonlder, another the back-hone. The result of the 
shot so pleased the Frenchman, that I really believe money 
would have been no inducement for him to part vrith his gun ; 
though I would not have given my short rifle for a dozen such. 
While engaged in securing the choicest portions of the veni- 
son, our Indian guide told us it was but a short distance to a 
larger body of water, on the shore of which lived the great 
chief of his tribe, whose name was Muck-ke-tay-pe-nay. This 
piece of intelligence made us think we vrere near the large lake 
— ^Lake Michigan ; but we were disappointed, for late in the af- 
ternoon, we entered the foot of Lake Peoria, an.d were met at 
landing by a number of Indians, from whom we learned that 
it was more than two hundred miles to the nearest trading post 
on the Lake, which was Chi-ca-a-go. We had to remain with 
this tribe several days ^before our guide would leave the en- 
campment; and during which time I saw several Indians of 
other tribes, one of whom was Black Hawk, who, I aftersvard 
found out, was then trying to get these Indians to join the 
Winnebagoes against the whites in the Xorth-West. At length 
the councils were concluded, and our guide signified his will- 
ingness to proceed. Under his direction we paddled along un- 
til we came to the Des Plaines river, from which we passed in- 
to a large slough or lake, that mu£t have led us into a branch 
of the Chicago river, for we followed a stream that brought us 
opposite Fort Dearborn. 

At this period, Chicago was merely an Indian agency; it 
contained about fourteen houses, and not more than 75 or 100 
inhabitants at the most. An agent of the American Fur 
Company, named Gurdon S. Hubbard, then occupied the 
Fort. The staple business seemed to be carried on by Indians, 
and nm-away soldiers, who hunted ducks and musk-rats in 
the marshes. There was a great deal of low land, and mostly 
destitute of timber. The principal inhabitants were the agent, 
Mr. Hubbard, a Frenchman by the name of Ouilmette,* and 

•Antoinb Ocilmette, whose wife was a Pottawattamie woman, is men- 
tioned in the treaty at Prairie Du Chien, in 18.'39, with the Chlppewas, Ottawas, 
Ac. ; and at the treaty of Chicago, September, 1863, provision Is made for his 
children. It would appear that he died during the interim between the two 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 217 

John B. Beaubien. It never occurred to me then, that a 
large city would he built up there. But great changes have 
taken place during the last thirty-three years. I read that the 
old log Fort, surrounded with its palisades, was torn down 
two years ago, and that Chicago is now one of the largest cities 
in the West. Great changes have I seen in my life; I was 
mail carrier in the I^orth-West before there was a white settle- 
ment between Prairie Du Chien and Fort Snelling — a Govern- 
ment express, and volunteer during the Sauk War — from 
mere love of adventure, have I wandered through the wilder- 
ness of the West. I have explored its lakes and rivers in 
canoes, boats and on rafts, from Bed Biver in the !N'orth to 
Red Biver in the South, and to Xew Orleans. I have tra- 
versed its woods and prairies, making myself familiar with 
Western scenes, the early settlers, and native Indians. 

The Indians you now see about town occasionally, ail kno-v 
me. They seldom come down to the Prairie without stopping 
at my house. It was only three or four weeks ago, that seven 
Indians came down from Crow Wing. They called on me in 
the night, and we had a talk together. They said there was 
no game in the neighborhood of their reservation; that they 
couldn't work, and so they had come down, and wanted to 
know how it would do to go and hunt in Iowa, at the head of 
Cedar Biver. I told them this universal change, that I have 
witnessed everywhere, had been going on there also — that the 
country was filled with settlers, and deer scarce. The poor 
fellows looked sorrowful. It was late when they left my house ; 
and though I tried to dissuade them from making the attempt, 
they resolved to go and see their old hunting grounds on the 
Wisconsin. Many Indians have left their reserve ; and I have 
no doubt that they find shelter in the islands of the Missis- 
sippi, and in the Kickapoo timber. 

The poor Bed Man has been robbed, deceived, and driven 
from his possession. This I have seen — indeed I have assisted 
to drive them from their homes. And yet, no person under 
heaven sj^npathizes more sincerely with them. They are al- 
most extinct — they are passing from the face of the earth! 

2i8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

But I look upon it as a decree of fate. Perhaps there are few 
persons more sensible of the beauties of nature than I am, and 
yet so little loth to see those pristine charms effaced, the bet- 
ter to subserve the advancement of art and civilization. 

It is near half a century since I came West, and the changes 
that have been rapidly effecting everything, are too numer- 
ous for me to describe. The growth of Chicago is one of those 
changes. AYhen there in the year 1825, it could boast of an 
old log Fort, and a few cabins. What is it now ? You know 
bestj for I haven't been there these last thirty years, but I know 
its inhabitants are numbered at over a hundred thousand; and 
where I once paddled in a dug-out, is now erected large blocks 
of buildings. 

But to go on with my story, we departed from Fort Dear- 
bom, in a fishing boat, and proceeded north along the Lake 
shore towards Green Bay. We camped on the beach every 
night, and finally arrived off Milwaukee Bay, which we en- 
tered; and went up Milwaukee River about half a mile above 
the mouth of the Monomonee, and landed on the east side of 
Milwaukee Biver, just below Solomon Juneau's Trading 
House. I was not acquainted with Mr. Juneau at this time, 
though I aftenvards became related to him through marriage, 
and learned his history. Seven years before, he had been in 
the employ of the Hudson Bay Fur Company, in the capacity 
of a voyageur, and had visited Prairie Du Chien, where he 
found his uncle, my wife's father, who insisted on his leaving the 
Company, to whom he was indebted in the sum of three hun- 
dred dollars, and loaned him the cash to pay the debt; besides 
furnishing him an outfit, with which he commenced trading 
with the Monomonee Indians, in the vicinity of Milwaukee. 

No. 3 

You ask why I don't tell more of the stories connected with 
the country, and the adventures of early settlers' life. I could 
give you many such, but unless I qualify them to suit the 
times, or give them a historical tone, whereby they may fur- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 219 

nish useful information, it would only be of momentaiy in- 
terest, and you could derive little benefit therefrom. Be- 
sides, different individuals, owing to different positions or 
interest, seldom look upon the same. objects with similar emo- 
tions, and were I to relate incidents that have come within 
the scope of my personal observation and experience, you pos- 
sibly might come in contact with some person, who, viewing 
the subject in another way, might assert that I pervert the 
truth and mis-state the facts ; so I will hurry through my brief 
history, which I commenced at your oft repeated request; and 
as every person gives that coloring to his life which appears 
to him most natural, I shall also claim that prerogative; after 
which I will furnish you all the early reminiscences that I can 
bring to memory. 

I have told you how we arrived at Mr. Juneau's trading 
house, where the city of j\Iilwaukee is built; but I did not 
describe the city, for it was not in existence then, nor even 
thought of, neither have I seen the city since it was built. 
The log house of Solomon Juneau, standing on a slight ele- 
vation back from the river, and a few neighboring cabins, be- 
longing to half-breeds and Frenchmen, who had followed his 
example by marrying Indian women and settling down, then 
formed the only indications of the present city of Milwaukee. 
Mr. Juneau was the only merchant Milwaukee could then 
boast of, and were I so disposed, I could give a correct inven- 
tory of his entire stock contained in the old log house near the 
river, as it was not an immense one by any means, and had 
been brought down from Green Bay in one Mackinaw boat. 
He had settled there first, surrounded by Indians, with whom 
he traded, but soon emigration turned in his direction, and he 
afterwards found other neighbors, who brought with them the 
spirit of enterprise and advancement. The few hardy settlers 
who first erected their cabins near his, found him in a wilder- 
ness, the primitive state of which had never yet been disturbed 
by a white pioneer. South and south-west of Mr. Juneau's 
house, could be seen extending large marshes, covered with 
tall swamp-grass, rushes and water. The Lake was about two 

2 20 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

miles distant, over the hill to the eastward; and on the west 
ran the river, beyond which was a wooded ridge that followed 
the river a distance of three miles up to the Rapids, that being 
as far as I explored the stream. The landscape has probably 
altered, yet an old settler would recognize my description of 
Milwaukee's birth-place then in embryo. 

I left the neighborhood of Juneau's Settlement in the simi- 
mer of 1827. We engaged a passage on one of Juneau's Mack- 
inaw boats that were about starting for Green Bay to bring 
back goods; as help was not over plenty, he was glad to avail 
himself of our services down the Lake until the boats reached 
Green Bay, where others were to be engaged in our stead. 
It was a pleasant morning when the two boats passed out ox 
7vlilwaukee River, and entered the broad Bay. The sun was 
just rising, and, though I was no sailor, yet I was charmed hv 
the beauty of this inland sea. A fresh breeze commenced blow- 
ing from the south-west, and taking in all but the steering oar, 
we rigged the leg-o-mutton sails, and were soon wafted in our 
swift sailing Mackinaws outside the point. The boats were 
loaded with furs, blankets, kettles and provisions and yet their 
shape was such that they maintained a degree of buoyancy, for 
which they were highly prized by those who used them. I 
have used the Mackinaw boat on the Mississippi, and consider 
its shape, (pointed at both ends) admirably suited for the pur- 
pose of floating a large burden against strong currents. 

We would land on the beach at night, and form our encamp- 
ment on the white sand, where gathering around the camp-fire 
we told our tales of love, hunting and adventure, sung songs, 
satisfied our appetites, and smoked, or prepared food for the 
next day. This camping on shore was a pleasant pastime. With 
no tent save the star-spangled canopy of heaven, we would 
wrap ourselves in our blankets on a moon-light evening, and 
lying down amid the baggage or on the clean sand, gaze out 
on the Lake, where the white caps sparkled in moon beams — or 
looking up at the wood-clad bluffs, whose dark outlines stood 
in bold relief against the sky, we feasted on the romantic scen- 
ery, the mysterious beauty of which, inspired the most practi- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 221 

cal among us with a deep sense of poetic feeling. If I ever 
felt poetic, it must have been during one of these night biv- 
ouacs, when listening to the beating of the waves on the beach, 
mingled with the melancholy notes of some night bird. 

Many exciting incidents occurred during the voyage. One 
I will give an account of. It was early one morning, shortly 
after we had left our previous night^s camping place, and got 
about half a mile from land, that we observed a number of 
wolves on a point, and others swimming in the Lake. Their 
howling had attracted our attention, and we were wondering 
what possessed them when one of the men remarked, "perhaps 
they are after deer." But where were they? This was soon 
found out, for some distance ahead of us on the right hand 
sidcj we discovered a large doe, that the brightness of the 
morning sun prevented us from seeing before. She was swim- 
ming swiftly out to sea, and had evidently seen us, for she 
was straining every nerve to increase the distance between her- 
self and our boat. Xow I had often killed deer in the water, 
after having put hounds in the mountains to drive them down, 
but never before had I hunted with wolves. Entering into 
the spirit of the thing, I examined the priming of my rifle, and 
took a station in the bow of the boat, as the men began to pull 
for the* poor animal. The billows were running pretty high, 
but the make of the boats caused them to ride the waves ^vith- 
out shipping a spoonful of water. 

A Frenchman named Joe King was in the other boat, urging 
the men to exert themselves to the utmost, that he might obtain 
the first shot. The two boats were about forty fathoms apart, 
and the distance between them and the doe, at the start, was 
equal. As the excitement of the race increased, the hovwing of 
the disappointed wolves was lost in loud shouts from the men, 
who propelled the rival boats through the waves that had in- 
creased in size, under the influence of a north east wind. Gain- 
ing at every pull, on the struggling animal, we soon came within 
easy shooting distance. King now got ready to shoot, but I knew 
the unsteadiness of the boat together with the excitement would 
cause him to miss. Confident of the result, I was perfectly 

222 Wisconsin Historical Collections fvoi. v 

willing lie should have the first shot. So, just as both deer 
and boat rose on the crests of the waves, he brought up his 
gun and fired. Spang! went the gun, and whiz went the ball, 
ricochetting over the water. A clean miss, bj thunder! i^Tow 
for my turn — and as the boat glided up to the panting animal 
I sent a ball through its brain, to the envy of my rival, the 
Frenchman, King. 

King settled down near Juneau, and became a resident of 
Milwaukee. He afterward sold some property that he had ac- 
cumulated there, and removed to Rock River, where his family 
were living the last I heard from them. 

We drew the carcass of the deer into the boat, and as the 
wind had increased to a gale, we concluded to run the boats 
on shore, and wait until the wind lulled. By skillful manage- 
ment the boats were made to ride the breakers, and reached 
the beach in safety. The place where they ran the boats ashore, 
was near the mouth of two rivers, that flowed into the Lake 
through an outlet. Here was a handsome broad beach of fine 
white sand, behind which bluffs rose abruptly; and there be- 
ing an abundance of dry drift-wood scattered about, the spot 
offered a pleasant encampment. Lifting the baggage out of 
the boat, we conveyed it higher up the beach, and deposited it 
on the smooth, water-worn pebbles. 

The geography of this region being unknown to me, I 
therefore resolved to take a survey. Asking King and two 
others to accompany me, we ascended the barren Lake bank, 
carrying our guns with us. Arriving at the brow after a hard 
pull, we enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the Lake. As wp 
looked over the vast expanse of water spread out before us, 
and strained our eyes along the silent shore, over which hung 
so much doubt and uncertainty, we felt curious to see more of 
the country. Continuing our exploration along the southern 
river, we advanced into a heavily timbered country, princi- 
pally pine. Xo timber-stealing lumbermen had then rafted on 
the stream, and we take pleasure in believing, that ours, was 
the first party of white men who explored the country. We 
returned from our excursion into the interior, at sun-set, in sea- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 223 

son to join our comrades in a feast of roast venison, which 
made a pleasant change, after living on dried meat and 
parched Indian corn. 

We were up early in the morning, as was our custom. The 
Lake was dark, and agitated, the surf was breaking very heav- 
ily on the shore, and unwilling to venture out while the Lake 
was so rough, we leisurely prepared and ate our morning meal. 
The sun had risen by the time we had finished breakfast, and 
as the wind was going down, preparations were made to start; 
we were soon embarked and plowing our way towards Green 

Pollowing along the coast we entered a pleasant bay, near 
the mouth of which, were broad bars, on which our men caught 
several trout and white fish. I had never seen these species 
of the finny tribe before, and the pleasure experienced in de- 
vouring the delicious, salmon-like flesh, is needless to describe, 
for they now form a dish on tables of every class, who esteem 
them a delicacy. 

Our camp was on the northern side of the bay, under the 
lea of a point. On the bars and in the clear shallow water of 
the bay, I remarked several large boulders; they were appa- 
rently composed of some rock, extraneous to that generally 
found in their vicinity. A query arose in my mind, where 
these isolated rocks were formed — ^how, and why similar in 
shape ? I was of an inquiring mind, yet possessed little knowl- 
edge of the geological formation of rocks, except what obser- 
vation had taught me. The boulders could never have been 
formed from earth, rolling down the bank, mixing with the 
sand, become hardened by the water, like the round stones that 
covered the lake shore — they were of a different texture. It 
was long after I had traveled on Lake Superior, that the mys- 
tery was solved. When on that Lake, in the neighborhood of 
the Pictured Rocks, it occurred to me, that there was a resem- 
blance between detached portions of these rocks and those 
boulders ; and it resolved itself in my mind, that those foreign 
rocks found along the shores of Lake Michigan, had their ori- 
gin here ; owing to the action of water, or other natural causes, 

2 2 4- Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

in early ages — ^perhaps at the flood — thev had been rolled to 
the place where I sa\v them. 

isText morning while the others were loading the boats, I 
discovered some fine specimens of sulphurated iron ore in the 
Lake bank. Making the men acquainted with my discovery, 
I got aboard and we soon doubled the point, and passed out 
into the Lake, on our course. At each night's encampment, I 
was in the habit of examining the bluffs, and as a general 
thing, found that the iron and copper ore was mineralized by 
sulphur. If any geological survey has been made of the wes- 
tern shore of the Lake^ you will find my observations correct, 
if you consult it. 

Indications of the advanced season, were becoming percep- 
tible. Frosts were on the ground each morning and the Lake 
winds were sharper. Wild geese, brant and ducks were wing- 
ing their way towards the South. These unmistakable signs 
were not to be disregarded, and we made fewer stoppages, and 
urged the boats on their destination. Coasting along the shore, 
we passed between the Pottawattamie Island and the main 
land, and pulling into Green Bay, took the south-east shore, 
and went up as far as Sturgeon Bay, where we encamped. 
Left the camp early next morning, and by sailing and rowing, 
we entered Fox River that night, and arrived at Green Bay. 

As we came into the village, the inhabitants crowded around 
U3, with evident curiosity. They were a mixed crowd I can 
tell you; they were Indians, and half-breeds, voyagers, Cana- 
dians, French, and to my inexpressible delight there were also 
Americans — Yankees among them! In answer to my inquiry, 
one of these latter, an American soldier, said there were a 
number of Yankees in the settlement — that the U. S. Fort 
there was garrisoned with them. The commanding officer, 
Gen. Cass, gave us a cordial welcome, and accepting his invi- 
tation, I accompanied him to his quarters, and under his hos- 
pitable roof, I had a night of rest, enjoyment, and refreshing 
sleep, that only a person who has camped out, knows how to 

I had a view of the Fort Howard, and Green Bay Settle- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 225 

ment next morning, by dayliglit. The Fort contained a large 
garrison of soldiers, mostly rifle companies who had jnst ar- 
rived with General Cass and Col. M'Kenney.* Besides the 
garrison, Green Bay had a population of between seven and 
eight hundred people, consisting of every nation, from native 
Indian to the sable son of Africa ; and amalgamation was not 
imcommon either, for all were connected by regular gradation 
of shades and color; and you might suppose an inhabitant's 
nationality to a fraction — as half-breed, a two-thirds Fox, &c. 
Thus you will perceive that society was a little mixed. This 
frequent intermarriage had the bad effect to make them indo- 
lent, for they evinced neither entei'prise nor intelligence. They 
gained a livelihood like the Indians, by hunting and fishing, or 
were in the employ of a Fur Company that monopolized their 
time, and prevented them from engaging in agricultural pur- 
suits. And had they time and knowledge, their disposition 
would lead them to prefer a pipe and idleness. So it is to the 
sturdy enterprise of the white settler alone, that I can attribute 
the growth and improvement, that have made themselves mani- 
fest in Wisconsin since 1827, at which time emigration began 
to pour into the territory. 

When at Fort Howard in the year 1827, the Indian affairs 
had assumed a threatening aspect. Reports of murders and 
disturbances, had spread through the settlements, ^ot a strag- 
gler arrived but brousrht an exaggerated accoimt of Indian dif- 
ficulties. Prairie Du Chien, Juneau's Settlement, Chicago, 
Galena and Green Bay, were then the only white settlements 
in the !N'orth-West, and all more or less threatened by Indians, 
who infested the country surrounding them. I continued to 
hang around the Fort, leading a sort of free ranger life — some- 
times accompanying the officers on their hunting tours, but re- 
fusing all proposals to enlist. 

It was the winter of '27 that the U. S. Quarter-Master, hav- 
ing heard of me through some of the men, with whom I was a 

•Gen. Cass was not the commandant of Fort Howard, as Mr. Fonda sup- 
posed ; but was with Col. M'Kenney, on a commission to hold a treaty with 
the, Monomonee and Winnebago Indians, w'hich they did in Augnst, 
of that year, 1827, at the great Butte Des Morts. L. C. D. 

2 26 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

favorite, came to me one day, and asked me if I thonght I could 
find the way to Chicago? I told him it wasn't long since I 
made the trip by the Lake. He said he wanted to get a per- 
son who was not afraid to carry dispatches to the military post 
at Fort Dearborn. I said I had heard that the Indians wcie 
still unfriendly, but I was ready to make the attempt. He di- 
rected me to make all the preparations necessary, and report 
myself at his quarters, at the earliest moment. I now began 
to consider the danger to be provided against, which might be 
classed under three heads, viz : cold, Indians, and hunger. For 
the first it was only needful to supply one's person with good 
hunting shirts, flannel and deer-skin leggins, extra moccasins, 
and a Mackinaw blanket; these, with a resolute spirit, were 
deemed sufficient protection against the severest weather. And 
fortunate was he who possessed these. Hunger, except in case 
of getting lost, was easily avoided by laying in a pouch of 
parched Indian com and jerked venison. Against danger from 
Indians, I depended on the follovdng. 

No. 4 

It was necessary at the time of the "Winnebago out-break, in 
1827, for every man — and woman too — to be constantly on 
their guard against surprise. Much trouble was apprehended 
from the Indian tribes generally, who were jealous at the 
encroachment of the emigrants, especially in the region of the 
Lead Diggings. The emigrant, settler, hunter and trapper, 
never parted with their trusty rifle either night or day. Wea- 
pons were an essential part of man's costume — ^his daily, yes, 
his constant companions — they were in the hands of the trav- 
eler, the homes of the hardy squatter, and had there been any 
sanctuaries in the Territory then, I believe they would have 
been found in the pulpits. The rifle provided food for the 
hunter. It also executed the arbitrary law of the land— self 
defense, and its decrees were final. It was during such a state 
of affairs, that I had passed my word to carry the mail between 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 227 

Port Howard at Green Bay, and Fort Dearborn, commanded 
hj Capt. Morgan," that stood on a point, now forming a part 
of tlie city of Chicago. Althoiigh the danger from the Win- 
nebagoes had abated, owdng to Black Hawk's failing to entice 
other tribes into the conspiracy against the whites, and the 
Indian War of '27 ended; yet the recent troubles made me 
mib up my rifle, and prepare every thing needful to insure the 
successful performance of the duty I was about to undertake. 
Carrying the mail during the depth of winter, a distance of 
two hundred miles, through a trackless wilderness, inhabited 
by wild beasts and wilder Red Men, was attended with no 
small danger. It will not be inappropriate, then, to describe 
my accoutrements and arms, to be used in case of emergency. 
My dress was a Vi hunter, one common to the early period, and 
best suited to my purpose. A smoke-tanned buck-skin hunt- 
ing shirt, trimmed leggins of the same material, a wolf -skin 
chapeau with the animal's tail still attached; and moccasins of 
elk-hide. I must have had the appearance of a perfect Xim- 
rod. My arms consisted of a heavy mountaineer's rifle that I 
had bought at St. Louis. It was rather long when I got it — 
the stock was bound ^vith iron, and carved on it was a cheek 
piece and buffalo bull's head, that made it an efficient weapon 
in the hands of a strong man, even when not loaded. I, however, 
thought it unhandy, and had the barrel shortened, the cheek 
piece cut off, and a strap attached to it, so I could sling it 
over my back. Suspended by a strap from my shoulder was 
a large horn, containing two pounds of powder. Buckled 
around my waist over the hunting-shirt, was a belt containing 
a sheath knife and two pistols — one of which got lost, the other 
I have now — attached to the belt also, was a pouch of mink 
skin, wherein I carried my rifle bullets. The foregoing com- 
prised my arms and accoutrements of offence, if we except a 
short handled axe, thrust in the waist-belt. 

It had been customary for the carrier who preceded me, to 
be attended by a party of individuals, who, for any motives 

•Capt. WiLLOUGHBT MoROAN, who Subsequently rose to the rank of Colonel, 
•commanded at Prairie Du Chien, and died there. L. C. D. 


22 8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. t 

might be induced to go with him. This precedent appeared 
to me erroneous, and had no effect in shaping my movements, 
for I had concluded that one person could pass through the 
country, safer from being intercepted, than a large party; yet 
being socially inclined, I chose a companion to go on the 
tramp with me. He was a Canadian named Boiseley, and as 
he was a comrade with me for many years, and figured in 
many incidents on the Mississippi, I will give a brief descrip- 
tion of his person and appearance. 

Boiseley was short, thick-set, had long arms with big hands 
of tremendous grasp attached, and on the whole he was a little 
giant in strength. His head was small and covered with coarse, 
black hair, and his eyes were small, black, and as piercing as 
a rattle-snake's. There was nothing prepossessing in his per- 
son, in fact many would think him repulsive ; yet this was the 
person I chose to go with me. He had been with me on one 
or two hunts, and remarking in him a spirit that was capable 
of enduring much fatigue, a sort of intimacy had sprung up 
between us, and that prompted me to select him. Having 
neither parents nor friends — that I ever heard of — ^he readily 
consented to go anywhere with me. I directed him to ex- 
change his dress — rags would be the best term — for a comfort- 
able out-fit, obtained at my expense, and had the satisfaction 
of seeing him transformed into a comparatively respectable 
looking man. He was accoutered in a style similar to my- 
seK. He sported a long Indian gun, and always carried a large 
knife, pistol and hatchet in his belt, and bullet-pouch and pow- 
der horn hung under his arm. To the horn were tied by sinew 
thongs several charms, which he believed possessed some mys- 
terious power that preserved him from harm. Aside from this 
tinge of superstition I found Boiseley was naturally intelli- 
gent and true as steel. During the many long jaunts we had 
together, there was only one thing about him I couldn't be 
come reconciled to, and that was this : we would start early in 
the day, each carrying a pack of equal weight, and after tramp- 
ing all day he would go to work and make camp, and prepare 
any game we had shot, without showing any evidence of fa- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 229 

tigue; while I, a man of twice his size and apparent physical 
strength, would be so tired, as not to care whether I ate at all. 

It was in company with this Boiseley that I presented my- 
self before the Quarter Master, and reported ourselves ready 
for the st^rt. I have not yet forgot the expression depicted in 
the Quarter Master's countenance, when he saw our slender 
equipment. It discovered a want of confidence in our ability; 
but assuring him that two of ns could travel as safe as a regi- 
ment, and with greater celerity, my logic prevailed, and he 
confirmed me in Uncle Sam's service. He entrusted me with 
the — not mail-bag, — but a tin canister or box of a flat shape, 
covered with untanned deer-hide, that contained the dispatches 
and letters of the inhabitants. Receiving these and my in- 
structions, we departed. 

We left Green Bay on foot, carrying our arms, blankets and 
provisions. We had to pass through a country, as then little 
known to white men, depending on our compass and the course 
of rivers to keep the right direction. Taking an Indian trail 
that led in a south-easterly direction, we passed through dense 
pine woods, cedar swamps, now and then a grove of red oak, 
some of which reared their heads heaven-ward, and had for 
ages braved the fury of a thousand storms. Frequently would 
we disturb a gang of deer that had made their '^yard" in the 
heavily timbered bottoms. And as we continued to plunge 
deeper and deeper into the primeval forest, and to proceed 
farther on our course, the tracks of the fisher and mink be- 
came more frequent, and occasionally a wild cat would get 
its quietus in form of a rifle ball. Once, at night-fall, we en- 
camped on a branch of what I now know to have been the 
Center River. This stream was a live spring, several yards in 
width, and was not frozen over. It made several beautiful 
cascades as it flowed over the rocks. Under a projecting bank, 
Boiseley found the water perfectly alive with trout, and tak- 
ing from his pack the light camp-kettle, he dipped out a mess 
of splendid speckled fellows, that relished well after being fried 
over the camp-fire. In the evening, after collecting a huge pile 
of wood, we heaped the snow up to wind-ward, and in the lee 

230 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

of the snow-bank scattered some branclies, on which we spread 
our blankets, and laid down with the packs beneath our heads, 
to listen to a serenade from the wolves. The night was spent 
in smoking, keeping fire, and intervals of sleep. 

Leaving the trail at tliis tributary or branch of Center Eiver 
we followed the creek down to the main stream, which ran in a 
south-east direction, and then taking a southerly course, we 
traveled a distance of twenty miles, and then struck another 
river. Following this due east, through a rough, but heavily 
timbered country, we arrived at the bank of the Lake, on the 
second day after striking the river. It was near sim-down 
when we made our camp near the mouth of this stream; and 
again within sight of the roaring breakers, a load of uncer- 
tainty was taken from me, for with such a guide, there was no 
going astray. It was decided that we should keep along the 
shore, at least where it could be done without diverging from 
a direct lin j running north and south ; all head lands and points 
we crossed, instead of going around them. The roughness and 
difficulty of our track, on account of the icy mountains formed 
by the industry of the breakers and Jack Frost, made it a 
'^hard road to travel.'' But trudging along through the snow, 
climbing over ledges of ice that in some places extended up 
the bank, and plunging through gullies and ravines, we man- 
aged to make good head-way. Thus we continued to travel 
day after day, though not without variety, either of incidents, 
fair or foul weather, scenery — something was always exciting 
interest or attention. Oft the winter mornings would appear 
beautiful and serene, without a cloud to obscure the rising 
sun. Then as we journeyed would we see flocks of ducks 
and sea-fowls sporting in the Lake, amid pieces of ice that 
sparkled like crystals; and anon a fisher or otter would glide 
off from the ice-fields where it had sought its early meal, to 
gain a safe retreat in some crevice of the Lake bank. 

It was the llth day after leaving Green Bay, that I arrived 
at Juneau's Settlement on the ]^.Iilwaukee Eiver, and as I had 
a message from Charles Larrabee to Mr. Sol. Juneau, I 
was welcomed by him, and remained two days with him to 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 231 

rest and recruit. I here learned that Joseph King had 
returned safe with the goods, but had a hard time getting 
back; being caught out in the 'noctial storm, and encountered 
rough weather. The Frenchmen he hired at Green Bay, had 
already taken Monomonee squaws, and were living in their 
own cabins. Mr. Juneau had two children at the time, was 
lord paramount of the settlement, and did a good business trad- 
ing with the Indians. Boiseley and I left his post to prose- 
cute our journey. The river was frozen over, and the ice was 
near eight inches thick; taking this we pushed off for two or 
three miles, and moving over the frozen marshes, came on the 
Lake shore, and crossed a wooded point on the south side of 
the Bay ; here finding a trail on the Lake bank, we followed it 
three days. 

On the third day, as we came out on a prairie, we found our- 
selves near a number of Indian lodges. We wished to avoid 
them, but it was too late now, for the watchful curs of the 
Indians had seen us, and commenced a ferocious barking that 
soon brought the Indians out in a body. We soon learned 
these were all Monomonees, who had maintained friendly feel- 
ings towards the whites since the massacre of Chicago. 
There was one old chief in the village, who spoke broken Eng- 
lish;j^ and could speak French fluently. He had been to De- 
troit, and knew much about the white man. He was the most 
savage appearing Indian I ever saw ; yet he displayed so much 
of dignity and decision in his manner, that I retained the im- 
pression that he was a noble Indian. He was a powerfully 
built man, about six feet tall, and well dressed for an Indian. 
He wore plain moccasins, deer-skin leggins reaching to his 
thighs, a calico shirt, a beaded cap with three feathers of the 
gray eagle in it, and a green blanket. There were also three 
other Indians worthy of notice, but they did not attract my 
attention by any peculiarity, so I'll not describe them. As 
a whole, these Indians were lazy, and staid in their lodges 
starving, rather than go out to hunt, though the country was 
teeming with deer, vtdld turkies and elk. Our stay with these 
Indians was short, inasmuch as they had no provisions; how- 

232 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

ever, they treated us kindly, and directed us to the best route, 
when we left them, Instead of continuing along the Lake, the 
old chief advised us to go a little west of south until we ar- 
rived at the Des Plaines Eiver, then follow that, and we would 
find plenty of game for food, and friendly Indians who would 
show us the way to Port Dearborn. 

The land route between Green Bay and Fort Dearborn was 
only traveled in the winter season, as then the rivers are frozen 
over, and offer no obstruction to traveling in a direct course. 
So following the Indian's directions, we came to as smooth a 
road as I ever wish to see. It was the frozen surface of the 
Des Plaines River. This led through wide prairies, and some 
large groves. Grouse were to be seen budding on the trees, 
and we killed abundance of them as we passed along. The 
grouse, with now and then a fish caught in the shallow rapids, 
formed our only food for several days. Until a little north- 
west of Chicago, we met with few Indians, all as hungry as 
ourselves. But joining a party of thirty Pottawattamies on 
their way to the Indian agency, we obtained from them a good 
meal of jerked venison and parched com. 

One noon we arrived at the southern terminus of our jour- 
ney — at Fort Dearborn, after being on the way more than a 
month. It was in January, thirty years ago, and with the ex- 
ception that the Fort was strengthened and garrisoned, there 
was no sign of improvement having gone on since my former 
visit This time I was on business, and I advanced up to the 
sally port with a sense of my importance, was challenged by the 
sentry, and an orderly conducted me to the Adjutant's office, 
where I reported myself as the bearer of dispatches for the 
commanding officer. Captain Morgan was in the office, and 
advancing, intimated that he was that person, and took the 
case of letters, directing me to await his further orders. Get- 
ing a pass, I went outside the palisades, to a house built on 
the half-breed system — partly of logs and partly of boards. 
This house was kept by a Mr. Miller, who lived in it with 
his family. Here Boiseley and I put up during the time we 
were in the settlement 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 233 

I received my orders from Morgan about the 23d of Janu- 
ary, and prepared to return with, other letters. We started up 
one branch of the Chicago river, and after leaving this we fol- 
lowed the Des Plaines, taking pretty much the same way we 
had come; meeting with Indians and incidents, all of which 
were interesting, but only one of which I'll tell you now. 

It happened that after sun-down one day, as the twilight was 
coming on, we had arranged our camp for the night in the 
edge of a grove, and the cheerful camp-fire was casting its rays 
upon the trunks of the neighboring trees, when Boiseley 
seemed attracted by something to a large oak, that stood in the 
light of the fire, "mat's thare, Boiseley ?" said I. "Come 
and see," said he. "Bear sign, by thunder !" I exclaimed, ap- 
proaching the tree that bore marks of having been frequently 
climbed by that animal. "He must have been here often, and 
not long since, either, judging from the recent scratches." 
^^Yes," said Boiseley, "but he has not been here to-day, for 
the little snow that fell last night is not tracked near the tree." 
"Well, that's plain, but why does he climb this tree so much ?" 
"To get the honey, of course." "Sure enough." Knowing 
now that we had found a bee tree, we naturallv wanted a taste 
of its contents. Setting to work with our axes, we commenced 
hacking around the roots, and the tree being hollow and quite 
decayed it soon cracked, tottered, and came down with a crash 
across our fire. Luckily our guns and packs were leaning 
against a tree a short distance off, and escaped damage. The 
tree broke near its top, the smaller part split open by the fall, 
disclosing a store of honey that was tempting to us two hun- 
gry men. We filled the camp kettle with choice pieces of the 
comb, and as Boiseley was preparing a couple of grouse, 
(prairie-hens) for supper, I "dipped in" to the honey — slightly. 
I have always been blessed with a good appetite, but on that 
occasion it must have been a little better than usual, for after 
eating my bird, and discussing a fair ration of dried meat and 
parched corn, I thought it better to fill the kettle again with 
honey, by way of dessert. That evening I got honey enough 
for a life-time. The sweet extract of a thousand prairie fiow- 

2 34 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.r 

ers passed from sight, but not forever. A strange sensation 
seized me, and — v^-eve you ever sea-sick? — if you were, it will 
be useless for me to describe what that feeling was, /cr you 
have experienced it. In the morning Boiseley invited me to 
join him at the honey pot, but I refused; and pursuing our 
journey, we left the rich treat to the wild animals. And since 
that memorable night, when we cut do^vn the bee-tree, I have 
never tasted honey without a feeling of nausea and disgust. 

Stopping a short time at the Juneau Settlement on our way 
back, we kept on our course and arrived at Green Bay, the 
29th day of February. The Quarter-Master at Fort Howard 
expressed himself satisfied with my performance, and he wanted 
me to make another trip; but as I had seen the country, 
which was all I cared for, I did not desire to repeat it. Get- 
ting my pay from the Department, and a liberal donation from 
the people, a portion of which I gave Boiseley, I left Uncle 
Sam's employ, and took up my old profession — a gentleman 
of leisure, and continued to practice as such, until the Spring 
cania, when with a view to extend the field of my labors, I 
made ready to bid good-bye to Green Bay. I had formed as- 
sociations and friends among the inhabitants, with whom it was 
hard to get. The little Frenchman, with whose extraordinary 
long gun I shot the buck in the Illinois river, had married and 
was living in a snug little home of his own, where I was ever 
a welcome guest. I felt solitary and perhaps gloomy when I 
turned my back on the settlement, and embarked in the canoe 
with Boiseley, for I was doubtful of bettering my condition 
by the move. But doubts could not deter me from making the 
venture, and with determination we plied our paddles and 
urged the canoe up Fox River. 

The route from Fort Howard to Fort Crawford was not an 
imkno^vn one by any means; yet it was through a wilderness 
then new, and led through Indian country, inhabited by a 
race of men naturally cruel and treacherous, who the year 
previous, had begun a war of extermination against the whites. 
To us the way was unknown, and we entered on it without 
other guides than a few directions from an old voyage iir in the 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 235 

employ of the American Fur Company, ^vlio had made the 
trip. I shall not speak of the incidents that befell ns, nor of 
onr several camping scenes, jnst now, bnt suffice it to say, that 
we continued up Fox River into Lake Winnebago; and carry- 
ing our canoe across the narrow portage formed by the ridge 
that separates the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, we launched it 
in the latter, and were soon gliding down on its swift current, 
en route for the Mississippi. Proceeding on our voyage dowm 
the Wisconsin, we descried the beauties of a landscape en- 
hanced by the charms of summer verdure. The bluffs that 
towered up on either side, as they do now, had never reverbe- 
rated the shrill wdiistle of the locomotive, neither were the 
banks spidakled with promising villages ; but nature remained 
the same as it had for ages and ages. Xow and then could be 
seen the wig^vams of the Winnebagoes, but habitations of 
the white man there were none. The pale faces up to this 
time, had not dared to settle on the hunting grounds of the 
Ked Men beyond the protecting influence of some fort. The 
whole splendid country about ]\Iadison contained but one white 
man, and that was Ebenezer Brigham, who had settled at Blue 
Mounds tie year before I came to Prairie Du Chi en. 

It was in the summer of 1828, that the canoe came out at 
the mouth of the Wisconsin River, and then paddling up the 
Mississippi for three miles, we arrived at the village of Prairie 
Du Chien at that time limited to the Island over the Sloughy 
consisting of the Old Fort, now gone, and the houses of the 
people in its neighborhood, some of which are now to be seen. 
As a correct description of Prairie Du Chien, its appearance, 
its inhabitmts, and its position generally, at that time, (30 
years ago), would be interesting, I will give it to you; at the 
same time I will relate all such incidents, and anecdotes con- 
nected with the country or its principal inhabitants, as they 
may come to mind. 

On my arrival at Prairie Du Chien, in June, of 1828 
this was no insignificant point in the !N'orth-West. The 
establishment of a military post here by the French, in an 
earlier day, which as a natural consequence, caused a host of 

236 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.y 

tradei 1, camp-followers, army speculators and a mixed class 
gener Uy to gather around, made it assume a livelier tone than 
many .vould imagine. Prairie Du Chien was also an important 
point in consequence of the Indian Agency then located here. 
Gen. Joseph 2\L Street,"^ was appointed Indian Agent the 
same year I came, and he was engaged in several negotiations 
and treaties with different tribes of Indians, amons: whom he 
managed to preserve comparatively friendly relations: induc- 
ing them to part with their land to the Government, si rip after 
strip, for which he saw them paid off in cash or goods. I will 
not ]>e certain that he always commanded the confidence of 
the Indians, but he was impartial in all his dealing-=i YAih them, 
saw the conditions of engagements faithfully fulfilled, and 
made the annual payments promptly at the proper time. It 
was at these same payments, some of which I attended, that the 
traders and employees of the Pur Company reaped rich har- 
vests. There are those here now, w^ho made the bulk of their 
fortunes, after these pajmients, in trading with the unsophis- 
ticated Indians. This being a point most accessible to a great 
many tribes, they frequently received their payments here, at 
head quarters. These pa^Tnents ^^ere great occasions — to the 
Indian because he v/ould obtain new blankets, and money 
wherewith to buy guns, ammunition and whisky — to the trader 
for he would rake in all that money, giving in exchange a 
very superior quality of goods ; at a very small advance on first 
cost — and to the Government, as it offered a chance for pur- 
chasicg more territory. An Indian payment was invariably 
attended with a great jubilee, in most cases got up at the ex- 
pense of the Indians. At these frolics the Indians generally 
got "plenty drimk,'' but the traders got all their money, and 
the Government got their lands. Gambling was a common 
thing at such times, and the Indian often returned to his vil- 
lage, empty handed, sans land, sans money, sans everything but 
a deep conviction of having been cheated. Thus it will be 
plainly seen, that the trade carried on between the Indians and 

*A brief sketch of Gen. Street is given in a note, p, 173, of vol. ii. Wis- 
•coDiiin Hi^itorical Collections. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 237 

whites, was anytliing but advantageous to the foimer, while 
many of the dealings of the Government with the Indians, 
threatened to embroil the frontier in an Indian war. 

Besides the Indian Agency, and being a military post, there 
was located here the head-quarters of the American Fur Com- 
pany. This Company was organized by John Jacob Astor, 
in the year 1809 and if memory serves me right, Joseph Ro- 
lette was the principal agent at this place when I arrived in 
1828; and H. L. Dousman, w^ho had come on the year pre- 
vious, was also in the employ of the Company. Of Kolette 
I could relate a host of anecdotes, but space and other motives 
forbid. I will state, however, that his influence was consid- 
erable, his will arbitrary, and his word law. He held sway 
over the French inhabitants and voyageurs, which if not really 
tyrannical, was exacting in its requirements. At the fire over 
the Slough, when the Company's buildings were burned, a pow- 
der magazine, filled with powder, stood in close proximity to 
the fire. This magazine was in eminent danger from the heat 
and flying cinders; and to prevent a terrible explosion, it was 
necessary to remove the powder. Rolette taking in everything 
at a glance, saw need of immediate action, and thereupon or- 
dered all those in his employ, to save the powder. And al- 
though it was almost as much as life was worth, they dared not 
disobey that mandate, and rushing in they seized the powder 
kegs, and carried them through the fire and smoke down to the 
river. This incident shows his influence over the people, who 
feared him worse than they did death. 

The Mississippi River, when I came here, was at a stage of 
water 4% feet higher than it had been known before, or has 
occurred during any subsequent rise. It was in June, and 
the site of the village was an island. To this same island, 
made so by too high water, was then restricted all that bore 
the name of Prairie Du Chien. On the east of the Slough, in 
the year 1828, there were only five houses; the one built by 
J. H. Lockwood, afterwards occupied by Colonel Z. Taylor, 
north of the present Fort; one other where Union Block now 

238 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voLy 

stands; the house of one Larrivier, and two others that I can* 
not correctly locate. 

I have said that all Prairie Du Chien was included in what 
is now termed the main village. But, at that time there were 
many more houses and inhabitants there, than at present. It 
is true that the people were chiefly Canadians, Erenchmen and 
traders; and their habitations were less prized for architecture 
than comfort, yet there was much to admire in the neighborly 
sociality that pervaded the early society. The old Tort Craw- 
ford was then commanded by Maj. Kearney,* and garrisoned 
by the 1st Regiment of U. S. Infantry. Among the soldiers 
were many persons, who possessed thorough and even classical 
education, whom adventure or some other motive, had enlisted 
in the United States Army. There was a young man of this 
class in Fort Crawford named Eeneka. He was a favorite 
with both the officers and men. His strict, soldier-like atten- 
tion to duty, and courteous bearing, made him many friends, 
and he bid fair to occupy the highest non-commissioned rank 
in the Army. But in an unguarded moment he allowed him- 
self to accept the proffered invitation of his comrades, to join 
them in a social glass, and — fell. Unaccustomed to liquor, the 
poison soon flew to his brain, and complained of being dreadful 
sick; he immediately left his companions, and started for the 
barracks. Entering the sally-port with a firm but excited tread^ 
he passed the sentry on his way to his quarters, from which 
he was directly afterwards seen to issue with a rifle. The rifle 
was one which he had purchased a short time before, for the 
purpose of hunting, and always kept it in his quarters, ready 
loaded. It is supposed that on reaching his room, the liquor 
he drank had made him crazy, for taking his rifle, he rushed 

out into the parade, and raving like a maniac, he whirled the 
__________ ^ 

♦Stephen Watts Kearney was born in Newark, N. J., Au^st 30, 1794. and 
entered the Army as a Lieutenant In March. 1812 ; and was particularly dis- 
tinguished at the battle of Queenstown Heights, was promoted to Captain in 
1813; Brevet Major in 1823, Major in 1829, Lieut. Colonel in 1833, and 
Colonel in 183G. In 184G, he was made Brigadier General, and commanded 
the Army of the West, and conquered New Mexico and California ; in the- 
battle of San Pascual he was twice wounded, and brevetted a Major General. 
From March to June, 1847, he was Governor of California, and died Oct. 31st, 
1848, at St. Louis. Mo., in consequence of disease contracted while in the 
discharge of his oflScial duties. His character and bearing as an officer were 
unsurpassed. L. C. D. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 239 

heavy rifle around his head. Aroused by the disturbance, 
the officer of the day, Lieut. Mackenzie,* came out of his quar- 
ters at the further end of the long parade, and calling to 
the Corporal of the guard, told him to ^'Take that fellow to 
the guard house. Hardly had the order escaped his lips, 
when Reneka observ^ed him, and instantly poising his rifle, 
shot Mackenzie throu^''" the brain. It was a long shot, but 
a deadly one. In making it, Reneka had killed his bosom 
friend. He was arrested ^»nd confined in the guard-house, 
and when he became san. and learned he had killed his 
best friend, no words of mine can picture the heart-rending 
agony of remorse that seized him. But he was deliv- 
ered over to the civil authorities, convicted of murder, and 
sentenced to be hung, and brought back here to be executed. 
The gallows was erected over the Slough, and the day of exe- 
cution arrived. I did not go to see him hung, but it is said 
he made an affecting speech to his comrades, warning them 
against strong drink. He showed up his own case in the 
strongest light, and described the grief of his mother when 
she should hear of her boy's disgrace. Many an old veteran 
shed tears when Reneka was swung off into eternity. But 
his was not an isolated instance, where youth, talent, hope — 
aH were sacrificed to King Alcohol. The army and early his- 
tory present a multitude of such victims; even now, none are 
exempt from the baneful effects of the curse — every individ- 
ual feels, or has felt, personally or socially, its injurious influ- 

For some years before 1828-29, little advancement or change 
had been going on in the appearance of Prairie Du Chien. 
•Soon after the Indian difficulties of 1827 were adjusted, emi- 
gration increased, and settlers began to arrive bringing with 
them seeds of progress. From that period the eastern emi- 
grants commenced gathering at this point, the population in- 
creased, improvement began and prospered, until we now enjoy 
the blessings of the electric telegraph, railroads and reliable 

•John Mackenzie was a native of North Carolina, graduated at West Point, 
and entered the army In 1819 as Second Lieutenant : promoted to First Lieu- 
tenant, Novemt)er, 1822. and Isilled as stated in the text, Sept, 26, 1828. 

L. C. D. 

240 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

steam navigation. The arrival of steam-boats at that early day^ 
were like angel's visits, "few and far between.'' Well do I 
remember in 1828, when the steamboat Ked Rover, com- 
manded by Capt. Harris, arrived at this place. It was like tha 
dawning of a new era, and Capt. Harris is still spared, and 
now commands a floating palace on the ''Father of Waters." 

The principal citizens that resided in the village thirty years 
ago, were Mr. J. Rolette, his wife and family ; J. H. Lockwood, 
merchant trader, and his wife and family; Mr. J. Brisbois, 
family of four sons and two daughters ; Hercules L. Dousman ; 
Gen. J. M. Street and family; E. Bailey, who built the old 
Prairie House; F. Gallanau, F. Chenviet, Flavin Cherrier, 
who were wealthy farmers. I may have omitted some others, 
but the remainder of the people then here, were mostly traders, 
Canadians in the employ of the Fur Company, and those who 
lived on the Indian trade. 

In the year 1829, Col. Zach. Taylor arrived and took com- 
mand of old Fort Crawford. Col. Taylor was a brave man 
ajid a good officer. It was about this time that large bodies of 
recruits were coming on, would stop here a few days, and then 
continue up or down the river, as they might be ordered. The 
army regulations then admitted of enlisting for a term of three 
or five years. Taking advantage of this, I enlisted in April, 
of 1829, for a term of three years, previous to the rescinding 
of the article, permitting that term of enlistment. Under the 
command of Taylor, I was a Corporal, and attained the rank 
of Quarter-Master's Sergeant. Having a natural turn for such 
things, I had acquired a good knowledge of military tactics, 
and being then free from the prevailing habit of drinking liq- 
uor, an evil common to the soldier, I, perhaps, (if the truth 
is known,) stood high in the estimation of my superior officers, 
I said that Taylor was a brave officer, and now repeat it, as- 
serting that he was ignorant of fear. On one occasion when 
all the soldiers were mustered for "dress parade," Taylor 
came sauntering in from his quarters, and running his eye 
along the front rank, observed a large, stout German recruit, 
out of line. The German was a raw recruit anxious to do his 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 241 

duty, but did not understand the English language. So when 
the order was given to ''dress," the soldier remained as before. 
Col. Taylor remarked this, and thinking it a willful neglect 
on the soldier's part, walked up to him and after one or two 
trials, got hold of his ears and shook the fellow severely. This 
treatment was called ''Wooling," a favorite mode of punish- 
ment with Taylor, but the German not knowing how to ap- 
preciate it, nor why it was inflicted on him, had no sooner got 
his head free than drawing back, he struck Taylor a blow 
that felled him to the ground like a log. This was mutiny, 
and the officers and guard would have cut him down, if Taylor 
had not rose up and said, "let that man alone, he will make a 
good soldier." And the German was allowed to go back to his 
place, and never got punishe'^ -^or his insubordination; after 
he could speak our language, ^ lound him an intelligent man, 
and an agreeable companion. He afterwards became one of 
the most faithful soldiers in the gaiTison, was promoted, and 
served in the Black Hawk War of 1832. 

A depredation had been committed by the Fox and Sauk 
Indians, on the whites at the Mines. A number of horses 
were stolen, and word was re<ieived at the Fort, that assistance 
from the troops was necessary to recover them. Lieut. Gar- 
denier was immediately put in command of a body of soldiers, 
and sent down the river to Dubuque, where the Indians were 
said to be encamped. I accompanied Lieut Gardenier" as 
pilot of the line. We arrived at the mouth of the Slough, 
after dark one night, and encamped. It rained hard all night, 
and next day. And though the bluffs where Dubuque is 
buried, and all the country was thoroughly searched, yet no 
Indians were discovered, and we got neither horses nor glory 
on that occasion ; but I got a better knowledge of the Mineral 
Region than I had previous to the expedition. At Dubuque, 
the country was rough, wild and wooded, with few indications 
of civilization; and across the Mississippi at Galena, the face 

•John R. B. Gardenier, a native of New York, entered West Point as a 
cadet in 1823 ; was appointed a brevet Second Lieut. July 1, 1828 ; First Lieut., 
1836 ; A&st. Com. Subsistence and Captain, 1839 ; and died at Dardanelle 
Springs, Arks., June 26, 1850. L. C. D. 

2 4-2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol v 

of the country was rugged and rocky, but the discovery of 
mineral had caused an excitement, that brought emigTants 
there in swarms, who on their arrival would go to prospectirig, 
frequently making fortunes, but oftener failing to make any- 

It was during Taylor's command, in the year 1829, that 
the present Fort Crawford was commenced. It was known 
that I came down the Wisconsin River, and therefore Taylor 
chose me to pilot the men up along that river to a given point, 
where they were to cut timber for building the Fort. I guided 
them as far as where Helena now is. We found such timber 
^ was needed, and the men commenced cutting down the 
trees, and preparing the logs to raft down stream. I returned 
to the Fort, having performed the duty allotted me, to the 
satisfaction of the commandant. This apparently raised me in 
favor, for I was appointed to do much outside duty, and fre- 
quently had a file of men under me. Many a time was I sent 
out on special duty, which none would have been entrusted 
with, but such as could command the implicit confidence of 
Old Zack himseK. In an early stage of the Fort's erection, 
Col. Taylor sent for me, to know where would be the best 
place to burn lime. I told him that the stone along the bluff, 
to eastward, was of a sandy formation, but I was sufficiently 
acquainted with the west side of the river, to know that plenty 
of good limestone existed there. He then gave me directions 
to take a file of men, and 2:0 over and find a convenient spot 
to make a kiln. It was an easy matter to have told of several 
wdth certainty, but it was my motto, to ''Obey orders, if you 
break owners,'' so following his directions, I took two men and 
started across the Mississippi in a pirogue. This species of 
water craft was a dug-out made from the trunk of a mammoth 
pine. In the center of this large canoe, was rigged a mast, 
with a large square sail. There was no wind, so we had to 
propel it with paddles. On reaching the west side, below 
where the town of McGregor now is, we turned the dug-out 
down stream, and running along the bluff until we reached the 
Coulee where old Jack Frost then lived, and there landed. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 243 

l^esLT this Coulee, (at the present day known as "Lime-stone 
Coulee,") we soon found suitable stone in abundance. There 
was no difficulty in doing this, for a better quality of stone or 
more of it, cannot be found, even at this day, than is in the 
bluffs south of ]\IcGregor. The place picked out, and we had 
nothing more to do, but to return to the Fort. 

The men who were with me were both stone-masons, one 
was knowTL by the name of Dunbar, a lively, fearless fellow, 
ready for any mischief ; the other as Baird, a timid person, who 
was afraid of Indians, of dying, drowning — in fact, anything 
that had any affinity to danger. It was a warm, sultry day, 
and we continued to loiter in the cool shade, 'neath the blu:ffs, 
conversing, lolling on the gxass, occasionally jerking a piece of 
rock out on the mirror-like surface of the Mississippi, (that 
being the way we worked for Government,) imtil about four 
o'clock in the i^ftemoon. I had prophesied a stonii that day, 
on account of the cahn; but my predictions sometimes failed, 
and no attention was paid to my remark, until we heard a deep, 
distant rumble, and Eaird jumped up and said, "what's that?" 
I knew that it was the coming storm, for lying on the ground, 
I heard the thunder distinctly, and looking up, I saw the fleecy 
clouds borne on the wind over the'l^luffs ; but, winking at Dun- 
bar, he suggested the howling of wolves. This was very prob- 
able, for wolves were more common than they are now, and 
the wildness of the place gave weight to the idea; but to in- 
crease his fright, I attempted to account for the growing dark- 
ness and roaring thunder on some volcanic principle. A new 
terror seized him, and casting a hasty glance up at the wild, 
rugged, precipitous, bluffs, he implored us to hasten back, and 
made off in double quick time. It was now time to think of 
returning, and going down to the pirogue, found Baird 
crouched in the bottom, shivering with fear. We told him to 
get in the bow, and trimming the sail, Dunbar took charge of 
it, while I sat in the stem to steer. We waited for the storm 
to burst upon us. Drops of rain commenced falling, the river 
became ruffled, the thunder sounded nearer, at last the storm 
burst with terrific fury. This was our time — ^putting out from 

244 Wisconsin Flistorical Collections [voi. v 

the shelter of the "bluff, the wind struck us, ajid away went the 
pirogue, plowing through the waves, dashing the spray from 
its bows, and leaving a foamy wake astern. With the wind 
blowing a perfect hurricane, and with the thunder, lightning, 
rain and water on a general tear, Dunbar and I were in our 
element. But how was it with Baird? Poor fellow! he sat 
in the canoe, praying us to take down the sail, (the pirogue 
would have instantly filled had we done so,) but seeing we did 
not answer his prayers, and thinking he was certainly to be 
drowned, hf^ appealed to Heaven. One exclamation of his was 
"Oh, Lord, if I must die, let the gallows claim its own!" We 
laughed at his fear, as he continued to curse, pray, blaspheme, 
and finally to threaten us, when Dunbar told him to stop his 
noise. This made him cower down, but when the canoe struck 
the Government landing, he was standing in the bow, and the 
sudden jerk pitched him headlong, a distance of twenty feet 
out on shore. He recovered himseK, and taking to his heels, 
ran to the Fort, never once halting until he was safe in his 
quarters. I made my report to Quarter xvlaster Garland,* and 
was afterwards sent back with a body of men to make lime; 
but poor Baird did not go with us, for he could never be in- 
duced to go boating on the Mississippi again. 

No. 6 

It was in the fall of 1829, while the present Fort Crawford 
was building, that Col. Z. Taylor ordered a body of men to 
proceed to the pineries on Monomonee Eiver, there to cut logs, 
hew square timber, make plank and shingles to be used in the 
construction of the Fort and its defences. The number of sol- 
diers drafted for the purpose was seventy, besides three officers 
and myself. Col. Taylor himself came to me as he had 

♦John Garland was born in Virginia in 1792 ; entered the army as First 
Lieutenant in March, 1813 ; promoted to a Captaincy in 1817, Assistant Quarter- 
Master, 182G; brevet Major, 1827; Major, 1836: and Lieut. Colonel in 1839. 
During the Mexican war he distinguished himself at Palo Alto. Resaca de la 
Palma, Monterey, Contreras, Churubusco, Molina del Rey, and was severely 
wounded in the capture of the City of Mexico. He was brevetted Brigadier 
General in 1848, and the next year made full Colonel. He died In New York 
city, June 5th, 1861, aged about 69 years. L, C. D. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 245 

done before, and did afterward — and said he wanted me to 
pilot that expedition. It was late in the season, and I did not 
like to bear the responsibility, and told him so; but Taylor 
had more confidence in me than I had in myself, and nothing 
would do but I must go. We left here in seven Mackinaw 
boats, with ten men in each boat. The officers accompanying 
the expedition were Lieut Gale,* Lieut Gardenier, Sergt 
Melviji, and myself as pilot. Lieut. Gale was the senior offi- 
cer, and had conunand. I was put in command of the ad- 
vance boat. Gale in the third boat, Melvin in the fifth, and 
Gardenier in the rear boat, with orders to keep the boats well 
up, and see that they reached shore together at night. 

The weather was fijie for that season of the year, cold nights 
and clear frosty mornings. The boats made good headway 
against the current, kept together admirably, and the men felt 
vigorous imder the infiuence of the pure, bracing atmosphere. 
Officers and men were in good spirits, and we passed along 
swimmingly until we reached Wa-ba-shaVs Prairie. As wc- 
entered Lake Pepin, floating ice was encountered, the current 
was swifter, and the cold intense. I^Tow, instead of the men 
being in good spirits, good spirits got into the men, and from 
that moment we had trouble. Lieut Gale would get ashore 
with his gun and a couple of men, to kill some of the geese 
and ducks for our mess, and always left orders for the boatc to 
keep together. One afternoon, when we had entered the Chip- 
pewa Piver, Gale landed on the north-west shore to shoot 
brant geese, that were very plenty, leaving Lieut. Gardenier 
in command, with strict orders to keep all the boats together, 
and at night to land them in a body, so the men might form 
one 3amp. This was necessary for the sake of convenience, 
and because it kept the men from getting separated, in case the 
river should close suddenly. After Gale went ashore, I took 
his boat, which was the fiag-boat of the expedition, and ap- 
pointing one of the men to take temporary command of mine, 
continued up the river. Chippewa Piver is a very crooked 

♦Levin Gale, a native of Maryland, entered West Point as a cadet in 1823; 
brevet Second Lieutenant July 1, 1827 ; and died at Dixon's Ferry, 111., Sept 
1, 1832. L. C. D. 

246 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

stream, and the chaimel is worse. Often only one or two of 
the boats would be in sight, on account of the bends and 
abrupt turns in the river. At sun-down we had arrived to 
within fifteen miles of the mouth of the Monomonee Eiver, and 
only three boats in company. I decided to encamp, and wait 
for the other four boats. 

Selecting a place on the southeast side of the river, the men 
prepared camp, and I sent a skiff to the opposite shore to bring 
over Lieut. Gale and one soldier named Earl, who had come 
down stream opposite to the camp. Gale saw the other boats 
were missing, and sent me down in the skiff to find them and 
hurry them up. Some distance below, I met Melvin with two 
of the boats. He said Gardenier had run aground on the sand- 
bar that I had carefully warned him (Melvin) to look out for. 
I had guessed as much, for Gardenier was far behind when 
the other boats were warned. The channel near the bar, ran 
across the river at right angles with the course of the stream- 
Lieut. Gardenier was not aware of this, and when his boats 
struck the bar the men tried to force them over into the deep 
water of the channel just above, but this made matters worse, 
for the boats were heavily laden with stores, and the quicksand 
closing around them, soon made it impossible to move back or 
forwards. Between the boats and the shore on either side, the 
swift, icy water was too deep to wade, and the only alternative 
was to remain where they were until the other boats took them 
off. So when I got down to the bar, there they were tight 
enough — in more respects than one. It was very cold, and to 
keep the blood in circulation, they had tapped two of the 
whiskey casks, and were circulating the liquor— every soldier 
was allowed a certain amount of. whiskey per diem, at that time 
called "whisky rations'' — this article of the soldier's rations 
was abolished during Jackson's administration, and coffee and 
sugar substituted. 

On arriving alongside of the boats, I saw it was useless to 
think of getting them off that night, so telling all who could 
to tumble into the skiff, I pulled for the shore, and after three 
or four trips, had all the men, together with their blankets and 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 247 

provisions, safely landed in the Chippewa Bottoms. After the 
nres were made, I got into the skiff and rowed back to the 
main camp, where Melvin had arrived before me. I reported 
to Lieut Gale, and sitting down regaled myself on roasted 
goose. IsText morning we went to Lieut. Gardenier's camp 
to enquire into the matter of running the boats aground. A 
council was held, and resulted in Lieut. Gardenier's being 
sent back. There was an effort to attach the blame on me, but 
it fell through. The day following was spent in unloading the 
boats, and fruitless attempts to get them off the sand bar. On 
the third night the Chippewa River closed, and while the ic^ 
was getting stronger, we made sleds to draw the stores on the 
ice jSiteen miles up to the point on the Monomonee Kiver, 
where we were to cut timber. By the time the sleds were 
made, the ice on the river was strong enough to bear a team, 
and the sleds were loaded with casks of whisky, blankets and 
provisions, and we drew them up to the proper place on the 
Monomonee Biver, where Gale remained with two men to 
watch the stores, while I returned with the men and sleds for 
another lot 

It seems that soon after I left. Gale discovered a war party 
of Chippewas on the path, looking for Sioux, and having a 
natural fear of Ladians, he made off through the wooded bot- 
toms at the top of his speed. The chief of the party sent a 
couple of his swiftest runners to bring Gale back, but they 
could not overtake him. The warriors had no idea of dis- 
turbing anything, but seeing the liquor and goods lying around 
without a guard, they were tempted to help themselves, and 
took some of the goods and filled everything they had that was 
capable of holding whisky, and then departed. It is seldom 
war parties are out after snow has fallen ; I have only noticed 
it among the Sioux and Chippewas, who were always warring 
against each other. I arrived the second day with more goods, 
and learned from the two men that Lieut. Gale had been gone 
almost sixty hours from camp. I sent men in the direction he 
had taken, and discharged guns every moment, and stationed 
a look-out on the high ground that commanded an extensive 

248 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

view of the Chippewa Plats. The day passed without our 
finding the Lieutenant. On the third day, the oldest chief of 
the war-party paid us another visit, returning all the things 
they had taken, except the whisky, which they promised to 
pay for with venison. 

While the party were in the camp, the look-out reported 
that he could see some object moving on the marsh, about three 
miles distant. Two soldiers were sent out who succeeded in 
creeping on Lieut. Gale, and catching him before he could get 
away. He had been wandering three days and three nights, 
aii.d exposure had deranged his mind, and he did not recog- 
nize his friends. He was brought in, and, on examination, I 
found his feet and legs were frozen up to the knees. A hole 
was cut in the ice, and the Lieutenant's limbs thrust through. 
After the frost was out of the frozen parts, they were greased 
with melted deer-fat, and wrapped up in blankets. In a few 
hours Gale had come to his senses — especially that of feel- 
ing — and ordered us to carry him down to Prairie Du Chien. 
We made him as comfortable as possible on a sled, and with 
three men started to draw him to the Prairie, leaving Sergeant 
Melvin — ^who was my senior, and ranked me — in command of 
the men. Lieut. Gale endured great pain, for every motion 
was torture, but when we came within sight of the Lidian 
lodges on Wa-ba-shaw Prairie, he forgot his pain, and wanted 
us to avoid meeting the Indians. This would have been a 
difficult thing to accomplish, so we marched into the village, 
and Wa-ba-shaw came out of his wigwam to welcome us. 
Upon learning the condition that Gale was in, the chief had 
him carried into his lodge, and treated after the Indian manner 
with a concoction of white-oak bark and poultice of roots. 
To these remedies Gale owed his perfect recovery, if not his 
life. We left Wa-ba-shaw Prairie and arrived safe at Prairie 
Du Chien, and the Lieutenant was placed under the care of 
Dr. Beaumont.''^ I was immediately ordered up the river 

•Dr. Wm. Beaumont, a native of Maryland, entered the army as a Surgeon's 
Mate in 1812 ; promoted to Surgeon, resifrned and retired from the service 
December 21, 1839. lie was the author of an interesting work relating to ex- 
periments on the gastric juice. L- C. D. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 249 

again, with the three men, and had to drive two yoke of oxen 
back. When we arrived at the camp on Monomonee River, 
the men had a log cabin most finished, and were drawing the 
goods into it. 

We had only been there a short time, when one of the men 
who was drawing a sled, slipped down and broke his lower 
jaw. Sergeant Melvin was a severe disciplinarian and be- 
lieved in flogging a soldier for an accident. He ordered the 
man to strip and prepare to receive a few lashes. It was bru- 
tal to scourge a man who was already suffering with pain, so 
I told the man to keep his coat on. The Sergeant glared at 
me, but perhaps he discovered something in the expression of 
the men's faces, for he kept silent, and the man was put on the 
sick list. The men were di^ded into three gangs, two of 
thirty men each, one gang xsommanded by Melvin, another 
by me ; and the third gang of ten men, remained in camp. It 
was my first duty to build a large flat boat, and having select- 
ed a piece of timber suitable for the gun-wales, we erected scaf- 
folds and prepared pullies and ropes to raise the log upon 
them. This preparation attracted the attention of Melvin, 
and he supposed the men were about to hang him. Fear had 
previously caused him to have built a small block-house 
in which he had placed aU the arms and ammunition, and 
where he now imnecessarily shut himself up. He gave me or- 
ders through a loop hole, but would never come out to see if 
they were f aithfidly executed. 

The work progressed steadily until the river opened. Trees 
iiad been felled, timber hewn, stuff for the flat-boat got out, and 
we had divided the log with whip-saws, and the parts were be- 
ing hewed into the proper shape for gun-wales, when one of 
the men laid his thigh open to the bone with a broad-axe. It 
was necessary that the man should have medical aid, so Mel- 
vin made out his report of the work done, also a charge against 
me for creating mutiny, and appointed me to carry the docu- 
ments and two wounded men — the man who broke his jaw 
was unfit for duty — in a dug-out down to head-quarters. I 
paddled dowa the river without accident, and entered the 

250 Wisconsin Historical Collections [foi. v 

Slough north of the Fort one evening after dusk, and was sur- 
prised to hear the bugles playing the "Doad March." I had 
the men put in the Hospital as soon as I landed, and then re- 
paired to Maj. Garland's Office, where I found Taylor and 
his officers, holding a council. They were deliberating on the 
removal of Lieut. MacKinzie's body from the old burying 
groimd near the mound, where Col. Dousman*s dwelling stands, 
to the officers' grave-yard north of the new Fort. It was to be 
done with the honors of war, and the musicians were practicing 
for the occasion, which accounts for the music I heard. I de- 
livered the papers to Quarter Master Garland, and aft-er per- 
using them in silence, he began to read Melvin's charge 
against me in his droll tone, that convulsed all present with 
laughter. Gai'land asked me if we intended to hang the Ser- 
geant I told him we hadn't thought of such a thing, and 
then gave a straight-forward account of aU that had transpired 
from the departure of the seven boats, up to my leaving the 
camp on the Monomonee in the dug-out. I was not court- 

Lieut. Gardenier, Boiseley, myself and seven men, re- 
turned to the Pineries to bring dcwn the rafts. We found 
on our arrival, that the men had worked well, and had got 
out a large quantity of square timber, with any amount of 
shingles, and the flat boat was put together and nearly finished. 
Two rafts were soon fonned of the timber, and I was put in 
command of one, and Lieut. Gardenier took the other. My 
raft was the largest, but it drew less water, and therefore all 
the provisions for the men of both rafts, were placed on it, ex- 
cept a barrel of whisky. Melvin was left v^ith some of the 
men, to bring dovm the shingles in the flat boat, as soon as it 
was launched. 

The rafts were run out of the Monomonee down into Chip- 
pewa river smooth enough. One night I made fast to th^ 
shore, just above the head of Boeuf Slough on the Chippewa, 
and was waiting for the other raft. It presently appeared in 
sight, and I noticed that something unusual was going on, far 
the raft floated rail-fence fashion, first against one shore and 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 251 

then against the other, bumping along as though it was intox- 
icated — perhaps that whisky barrel leaked. I cried out to 
Gardenier to either make fast above me, or pull for the point 
opposite the Slough. He heard me, and ti'ied to make the 
opposite shore, but owing to the strong current or some mis- 
management, the raft was sucked into the Slough, without 
touching, and was carried down some distance, and struck on 
a small tow-head or island. I thought it best to wait until 
morning before going to them, and quietly ate my supper 
which Boiseley had prepared. The principal dish of this 
meal, was a hedge-hog that I had shot It was cooked by 
throwing it into the fire whole, and after being perfectly 
roasted, taken out and all the quills and hair scraped off, and 
the entrails taken out. After it had undergone this process 
it looked as nice as any roasted pig I ever saw, and with 
proper seasoning, it tasted better. 

In the morning, I put some food in Boiseley^s canoe, and 
went down to the raft. The men were glad to get the grub, 
for they had had nothing to eat but the whisky, all night, and 
you may believe they were not in the best working order. I 
saw how matters stood, and suggested that the raft be ''broke," 
and towed out of the Slough piece-meal. Gardenier didn't 
approve of the plan, for he said such a large stream of water 
must have an out-let somewhere, and he would follow it, and 
take his risk of getting safe through to the Mississippi River. 

At the entrance of this Slough, the Chippewa Eiver forms 
an elbow, the acute angle of which is the mouth of the Slough. 
This Slough was indeed a pretty stream of water, vride and 
deep, with fine banks, and had I not learned better, I would 
probably have made the same error that the Lieutenant did. 
I told him, that when we drove the oxen up through the 
frozen bottoms, I found where the Slough spread out into a 
wide marsh, and that following it up to the Chippewa, we 
often came to large piles of drift-wood, that woidd certainly 
stop the raft 

It was decided, however, that the raft should go down the 
Slough, and orders were given to swing her off the island, and 

252 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. t 

bidding me good-bye, they were swept down the stream. I 
went along down the Chippewa into Lake Pepin, without see- 
ing anything of Gardenier's party, and feeling anxious about 
them, for they had been absent four days without provisions, I 
got into the canoe with Boiseley, and taking our guns and 
fiomething to eat, started to find them. I knew very near where 
the raft would bring up, so putting into a Slough that has its 
rise in the big marsh, we paddled the little canoe through the 
water at a good rate, until unf ortimately we run on a sunken 
log and were upset. Boiseley seized the guns and carried 
them ashore, but all our food and ammunition was damaged or 
lost. I turned the canoe right side up, and getting in, we con- 
tinued up the Slough, came to the marsh, and as I expected, 
found the raft jammed against a pile of drift-wood in the Slough, 
some distance above. The raft was deserted of everything 
except the whisky barrel, and that was empty. Boiseley said 
the men had been gone from the raft at least two days, and 
knowing that they would head off my raft, somewhere below, 
we did not try to find them, but started to return to our party. 
We had gone back some distance, when passing close to a 
small island covered with willows, a band of young Sioux 
braves jumped up and gave the war-whoop. The Indiana 
told us to come to them, and even waded towards us, but pre- 
ferring to keep our guns, blankets, and canoe, in our own pos- 
session, we paddled away through the islands, and soon got out 
of their reach. 

In our haste to leave the Indians, we missed our way, and 
wandered aroimd in the marsh for two days before we reached 
the Mississippi River, far above our raft. We were hungry, 
for our provisions gave out two days previous, our guns were 
wet, and all the powder spoiled, so we could not shoot any 
game for food. Landing on an island in the river, we hauled 
the canoe up, and went to sleep T^dthout a fire. i^Text morn- 
ing the wind blew so, we dared not leave the island. I had 
been so long without eating, that I did not care if I ever saw 
food again. I had a hot, bitter sensation in my stomach. 
Late in the afternoon of that day we saw a canoe, with two 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 253 

Indians in it, coming down tbe western shore. I told Boise- 
ley, we must meet that canoe, if we wanted to live. Shoving 
the canoe out, we got in, and by paddling and drifting, made 
the west shore, where we were picked up by the Monomonee 
chief Wa-ba-naw, and his squaw. I asked the chief for 
food, and told him how long we had been without. He landed 
and made camp, and his squaw cooked some hominy. This 
was given to us in very small quantities at first, and no entreaty 
or threat could make the Indian increase the dose, until it 
suited his pleasure. He continued to feed us at inten^als, little 
by little, until our appetites became ravenous, and then made 
us lie down, and we fell asleep. Wa-ba-naVs squaw roused 
us at midnight, and set before us a kettle of thick bouillon 
made of hominy and meat, and told us to eat. We eat all the 
eoup, went to sleep, and awoke in the morning well as ever. 
Old Mrs. Wa-ba-naw, called me her son ever after, and I al- 
ways give her a present of snuff, vrhen she comes to see me. 
She lives on the island opposite Prairie du Chien, and she 
says she has seen twice fifty years, but that falls short of her 
real age. She is blind and lives in a wigwam with her son, 
who with another Indian, murdered an old white man, and 
was pardoned the same year I came to Prairie Du Chien. 
Mother Wa-ba-naw knows many traditions of the country. 

Wa-ba-naw went down to the raft with us, from which we 
had been gone six days. The men were glad to see us safe, 
and getting the raft into the current, we floated down, keeping 
a good look out for any signs of Gar denier' s party. Second 
day after my return to the raft, a signal was discovered on an 
island below us. It proved to be the missing party. They 
had been absent eleven days, and had eat nothing but acorns 
and roots. We treated them according to Wa-ba-naVs di- 
rection, for they were most famished, and would have killed 
themselves, had they been allowed to eat all their appetite 
craved. They took the high land after leaving the raft, and 
traveling ahead of us, made a raft of drift-wood that carried 
them to the island. The wind broke up their raft, and it was 
swept away, making them prisoners on the island. There they 

254 Wisconsin Historical Collections {voir 

remained without eating, until we took them off. They had 
resolved to kill and eat a man, named Austin Young, who 
was resigned to his fate, and had gone down to the river for 
water, while his comrade-s loaded a musket and cast lots who 
should shoot him. He filled the kettle with water, and was 
about to go back, when he saw the raft coming, and told his 
companions. Our appearing at that time saved his life. 

Putting the weakest of the party into a Mackinaw boat we 
had picked up, I sent them down to the Prairie with a couple of 
men. The boat must have got down a long time ahead of the 
raft, for when we arrived at Paint Pock, I met Lieut. Garde- 
nier looking weU as ever, and he promised me something 
handsome if I would not give the particulars in my report, as 
to how the raft was lost. But I knew Taylor hated a liar as 
bad as he did a drunkard, so when I arrived at the Port, I 
stated all the facts just as they were; and it was well I did, for 
Col. Taylor would soon have foimd out the truth. Besides, 
I secured the respect of Lieut Gardenier by so doing, for he 
was an honorable man. His wife sleeps in the officers' grave 
yard, where the slabs that mark the resting place of those who 
died at that early day, may now be seen. 

The north quarter of the new Port was completed in the 
summer of 1830, after I returned from Monomonee Eiver. The 
powder magazine, at the south-east comer of the Port, was 
built the same year. It took four men ten months (the way we 
worked for Government) to build it The walls are of rock, 
three feet thick, and each rock matched into another like 
flooring, and cemented together. 

In building the Port, we disturbed an Indian mound. It 
was a common burying place of the Indians, and we took out 
cart-loads of bones. 

No. 7 

I think it was in the vear 1830, that I witnessed a murder 
in the garrison of Port Crawford, without being able to pre- 
vent it. One Coffin, a Provost Sergeant, w^hose duty it was 


1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 255 

to spy oai the men, make arrests and report everything that 
occurred, was shot hj one Beckett, a soldier. The facts of 
the transaction as I recollect them, are these : 

Provost Coffin had discovered the soldier Beckett, in the 
act of leaving the Fort through one of the windows, from 
which a couple of iron bars had been removed. It was one 
night after tattoo. Coffin was on the watch, and he caught 
the man just as he got out, and kicked, beat and otherwise 
injured him, until ho was nearly dead, and then had him 
dragged to the guard-house. The soldier vras in a dangerous 
condition, and the physician had him put in the Hospital where 
he laid sick a long time. He asked and received permission 
to go back to his company, as soon as he was able to be up. 
He had ever been a favorite with his comrades, and they all 
expressed their joy at his return ; but he replied to their kind 
welcome with a strange quiet in his manner, that left an im- 
pression of dark foreboding on the minds of his friends. He 
continued in a state of morbid taciturnity, in spite of efforts 
made to cheer him. 

One day, while acting Quarter "Master's Sergeant, I was go- 
ing out with a file of men to see to butchering some cattle, 
when an officer named Green hailed me and said the Pay- 
Master was at the Quarter Master's Department and I had bet- 
ter go there soon, if I wanted my pay. I then had all the 
money I needed, and not being afraid to trust Uncle Sam, I 
went on with the men. When I got back, I went into the 
Quarter Master's Office to make my report, and f oimd the Pay- 
Master gone. The only persons present, was Coffin, who had 
a little desk in the office, at which he was writing, and the sol- 
dier Beckett who had come in and was standing with his mus- 
ket near the stove. I noticed something strange in Beckett's 
appearance, and knowing his disposition, it instantly occurred 
to me, that he intended to shoot Coffin, who stood with his 
back towards us. 

Without speaking, I walked towards Beckett, hoping to 
approach near enough to snatch the musket; when designing 
my purpose, he warned me off, and quickly shot Coffin — a 

256 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

cartridge of three buck-shot and a ball passed tbroiigb bim, 
and be fell dead witbout a groan. 

Beckett was arrested, and confined in tbe guard-bonse. He 
was ironed witb great care — bis bands and feet confined with 
irons, an iron collar around bis neck, witb a bar connected, 
extending tbrougb tbe sbackles of bis bands and feet. He 
laid in a stone cell on tbe floor made of square timber eigbtr 
een incbes tbick, to wbich be was confined by a band of iron, 
passing over bis body and fastened firmly on eitber side. A 
guard was placed over bim, but witb all tbis precaution be 
managed to escape. 

He got away as far as Cassville, and went to work in tbe 
Mines somewbere soutb of tbat place, and was found by Capt. 
Billy Harris,^'- who was down tbere bunting for deserters. 
He was carried to Mineral Point, tried by tbe civil autborities, 
convicted, brougbt back bere, and bung like a dog. Tbe 
sberiff wbo sent bis soul into eternity, barely escaped on a 
fleet borse witb bis life, for tbe soldiers were enraged at tbe 
indignities sbown to tbeir unfortunate comrade, and tried to 
kill bim. 

Tbe same year, tbe Fox and Sauk Indians killed some 
Sioux, at tbe bead of Cedar Kiver in Iowa. Capt. Dick Ma- 
sont started witb a number of troops, for tbe scene of dis- 
turbance, and I went along as guide. We arrived at tbe place 
of tbe figbt, found everytbing quiet, and all we did, was to turn 
about and go back tbe way we came. 

Soon after tbe Sioux and a number of Monomonees, attacked 
a party of Sauks and Foxes, at Prairie Du Pierreaux and 
killed some ten Indians, among wbom was Kettle," tbe great 
Fox cbief.? Tbe Sauks and Foxes were coming up to a 
treaty unarmed, and tbe Sioux made aware of tbis, tbrougb tbeir 
runners, got tbe Monomonees and laid in ambusb on tbe east 

♦Capt Wm. L. Haeeis, a native of Virginia, was a cadet in 1819 ; brevet 
Second Lieut., 1824 ; First Lieut., 1830 ; served in tlie Black Hawk war ; Asst. 
Com of Subsistence, 1833; dismissed, Oct.. 1836, and died in Illinois, in Feb. 
183T. L. C. D. 

tRiCEEARD B. AUsoN, a native of Virginia, was a First Lieutenant, 1817 ; 
Captain, 1819 ; served in the Black Hawk war ; Major of Dragoons, 1833 ; Lieu- 
tenant Colonel, 1836. and Colonel, 1846. He commanded the forces in Cali- 
fornia, and was es-oSicio Governor, 1847-48; brevetted Brigadier General, and 
died at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., July 25, 1850. L. C. D. 

tThis was in 1830; See vol. il Wisconsin Historical Collections, p. 170, 171, 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 257 

shore. The unsuspectiiig Foxes were fired into f rora the am- 
buscade, and their best warriors lost their scalps. 

After the fight the ]\Ionomonees and Sioux caine up here, 
to have a dance over the scalps. The Indians presented a 
horrid appearance. Thej were painted for Vv^ar, and had 
smeared themselves with blood, and carried the fresh scalps 
on poles. Some had cut ofl: a head and thrust a stick in the 
throttle, and held it on high — ^^some carried a hand, arm, leg or 
some other portion of a body, as trophies of their success. 
The J commenced to dance near the mound over the Slough, but 
Col. Taylor soon stopped that by driving them across the 
main channel, on to the islands, where they danced until their 
own scalps went to grace the wigwams of the Sauks and 

In 1831, I think it was, that I was with a few men getting 
out stone near Barretters lower ferry. We lived in a cabin 
on the west shore of Wisconsin River. One evening after we 
had gone to bed, two of the men who had been to town for 
liquor, came rushing into the cabin and told us to get up, for 
they said the world was done! We got up, and the awful 
grandeur of the sight that we witnessed, I shall never forget. 
The air was filled with a meteoric shower of phosphorescent 
light It came down in flakes, and as thick and fast as hail. 
It continued for some time, presenting a "brilliant spectacle, 
and giving us a pretty good idea of the judgment day. After 
the first surprise passed, I knew it was some natural phenom- 
ena,_ (although I had never before or since heard it accounted 
for,) but it appeared strange that the fire did not bum. In 
the morning no trace was left of the previous night's wonder. 

In April of 1831, I was in the Hospital at Fort Crawford 
when through the influence of Col. Taylor and Dr. Beau- 
mont, I got my discharge. When I was convalescent, which 
was about June, a war party of Sauk and Fox Indians came 
up from their part of the country, to the bluff north of Bloody 
Run, from where they watched the Monomonees, who were en- 
camped on an island, opposite Prairie Du Chien, a little north 
of the Old Fort. One night the Monomonee camp was sur- 

258 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

prised by the Fox and Sauk war-partv, and all in the camp 
killed except an Indian boy, who picked up a gun and shot 
a Fox brave through the heart, and escaped. After massacr- 
ing, scalping, and mutilating the bodies, the Fox Indians got 
into canoes and paddled down the river past the Fort, singing 
their war song and boasting of their exploits. Soldiers were 
■sent to punish them, but I believe they failed to catch them. 
In the morning I helped to bury those killed. There were 
twenty-seven bodies, all killed with the knife and tomahawk, 
except the Fox brave shot by the boy. They were buried in 
three graves, on the landing below the present Fort Crawford ; 
and until within a few years, the spot was marked by a small 
muslin flag, kept standing by the few Monomonees who lin- 
gered in this vicinity; but nothing is now left to preserve the 
graves from sacrilege, and soon the iron horse will course o'er 
the bones of those Ked Men, long since gone to their happy 
himting ground. 

After the Monomonee massacre, a warrior of that tribe was 
found in the old Catholic gTave yard, and buried. He had no 
wounds, and it is thought that when the Foxes attacked the In- 
dians on the island, he got away and ran so fast that he had to 
lean against the wall to rest, and that he rolled over and died. 

A soldier named Barrette was killed this year by J. P. Hall, 
an. officer, who struck the man on the head with a pitchfork 
handle^ and broke his skull. Hall was acquitted, but he never 
forgot that murder. I believe Hall lives in Iowa, 

I continued in Government employ until the fall of 1831, 
when having saved some money, I formed a co-partnership 
with a person named Perry, and went to keeping a boarding 
house and tavern. I can say that I kept the first tavern in 
this to^vn. It was kept in a house we bought of J. H. Lock- 
wood, which house is still standing. I continued in the busi- 
ness some time, and found it very profitable; but afterwards 
sold my interest to Perry, who became involved. A suit arose 
about this time between J. H. Lockwood and myself, about 
some notes. This suit lasted several years, and was finally de- 
cided in my favor. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 259 

The cholera raged terribly among the troops the year of 
1832. One hundred soldiers died at Fort Crawford in two 
weeks. They were buried on the prairie south of the old dra- 
goon stable; their graves are now open common^ and the offi- 
cers' grave-yard is not much better^ for the fence is broken 
down, and the graves desecrated. Only four citizens died of 
the cholera, and those in one house. 

The Indian Agency was removed this year to Yellow River, 
and the Eev. Mr. Lowrey appointed Agent. It was after- 
wards removed to Eort Atkinson, Iowa. The mission buildings 
can be seen now on Yellow River, about five miles from its 

The Black Hawk war commenced this year. Some of 
Dodge's recruiting officers were drumming around here. I 
met and got acquainted with one, named White, and enlisted 
during the war. A Quarter Master was up here buying horses. 
He purchased near five hundred head, and I went with them 
down to the mouth of Eock River, where the army under At- 
kinson were encamped. 

I was under Dodge's command, which was composed of Illi- 
nois Volunteers, and a "wilder, more independent set of dare- 
devils I never saw. They had a free-and-easy, devil-may-care 
appearance about them, that is never seen in the regulars, and 
Gen. Dodge of all others, was the officer to lead them. A num- 
ber of Sioui, Winnebagoes and some Monomonees joined the 
forces on Rock River. I was in the ranks, and my opportuni- 
ties for knowir^ and seeing the movements of the army, from 
the encampment on Rock River to the Four Lakes, and to the 
Wisconsin bluffs, were limited. 

Generals Atkinson, Dodge, Henry and Alexander, lead the 
different commands. The force under Dodge, consisted of two 
or three hundred men, and we proceeded to the Lakes, through 
the swamp towards Black Hawk's camp on Rock River. Gen. 
Dodge w^as impatient to engage the Indians, and urged the 
men on ; but orders came for our men to proceed to head quar- 
ters, where we immediately went 

Prom Gen. Atkinson's camp we were marched to Fort 

2 6o Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Winnebago, from where we started in pursuit of the Indians 
who then held the two Hall girls prisoners, and were camped 
at Eock Kiver Eapids. Gens. Henry's and Dodge's men 
reached the Rapids, but the Indians had retreated. Informa- 
tion was received that the Indians were making westward, and 
getting on their trail, we followed them rapidly for two days; 
the scouts discovered many Indians on the second day about 
•camp near the Lake. 

The pursuit was renewed on the day after reaching the 
Lakes, where one or more of the Indians was killed. Our men 
led the chase, next after the scouts, who were continually firing 
-at the Indians. The Indians continued to retreat, until they 
^reached the Wisconsin Eiver, where some made a stand and 
•showed fight, while the others crossed the river. Here we were 
fired on by the Indians, and one man was kiUed, and several 
'wounded. We returned their fire with effect, and then charged 
them, killing a good many, all of whom were scalped by the 
wild Sucker Volunteers. 

Soon after the skirmish on Wisconsin blufis, Gen. Atkinson 
came up, and the entire army crossed the river at Pine Bend, 
(Helena), and took the trail on the opposite side, and followed 
it seven or eight miles^ in the direction of Prairie Du Chien. 
WTien it was discovered that the Indians were making for the 
Mississippi, Gen. Atkinson sent me with little Boiseley to carry 
a dispatch to Port Crawford, that the inhabitants might be 
ready to prevent the Indians crossing in any canoes or boats 
l)elonging to the citizens. Boiseley and I traveled day and 
night, and arrived at the Port without seeing an Indian. 
Black Hawk and his people, with the army in pursuit, had 
turned northward, intending to ford the Kickapoo high up. 

No. 8 

It was on the 1st day of August when Boiseley and I reached 
the Sugar Loaf, at the south end of the Prairie. As we 
were taking a look over th^ Prairie previous to starting for 

3867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 261 

the Fort, we saw tlie smoke and steam of a boat coming up the 
river, just off the mouth of the Wisconsin. We hastened on, 
and reached the Fort as the steamer Warrior made the Gov- 
ernment landing. I reported myself to Captain Loomis, and 
was directed to go up the river in the boat. I assisted to get 
a six pounder from the Fort on to the Warrior, which cannon 
was managed by five other persons and myself, and was the 
only cannon fired at the Indians — if not the only one aboard. 

The steam-boat Warrior was commanded by Throckmorton, 
and Lieut. Kingsbury was aboard with a body of regulars. 
The cannon was placed on the forward part of the boat, with- 
out a defence of any kind; and I have the names oJ the five 
persons who assisted to manage it, for they got on at the Prai- 
rie when I did. 

The boat steamed up stream, with all on board anxious to 
get a pop at the Indians. Just above where Lansing is, we 
picked up a soldier, who had been discharged from Fort Snel- 
ling and was coming down in he river in a canoe. He bad come 
down the west channel, on the Minnesota side opposite Bad 
Axe, and, fortunately for him, he did not meet the Indians. 
We came in sight of the Indians south of the Bad Axe River ; 
they were collected together on a bench of the land close to 
the Mississippi, and were making efforts to get their women 

Captain Dickson's scouts had not come up yet, and the In- 
dians raised a white flag and endeavored to induce the boat to 
approach the east shore, and succeeded in bringing her close 
enough to pour a shower of balls into her. The cannon sent a 
shower of canister amongst the Indians, which was repeated 
three times, each time mowing a swath clean through them. 
After discharging the gTin three times, (there were only three 
charges of canister-shot aboard,) the Indians retreated to the 
low ground back from the shore, where, lying on their bellies, 
they were safe from us. 

A continual firing of small arms was kept up between the 
pea-sons on board the boat and the Indians ashore, until the 
'fire-wood gave out, when we were obliged to put back to Prai- 

262 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

rie Du Chien to wood-up — for there were no wood-yards on tlie 
Mississippi as now. THe village was roused to carry wood 
aboard, and we soon had a sufficient quantity of that article. 
A lot of Monomonee Indians were also taken on, and then, 
under a full head of steam^ we put back to the secene of the 

Before we rounded the island, and got within sight of the 
battle-ground, we could hear the report of musketry, and then 
it was that I heard Throckmorton say : ^'Dodge is giving them 
h — 11 And he guessed right, for as we reached the scene of 
action, the wild volunteers under Gen. Dodge were engaged in 
a fierce conflict with the Indians. The Indians were driven 
down to the river edge; some of them under shelter of the 
bank, were firing at the volunteers, who had command of the 
bluffs. The Suckers and Hoosiers, as we called them, fought 
like perfect tigers, and carried everything before them. 

The troops and Indians on board the ^Yarrio1', kept ap a 
brisk fire on the Indians ashore, who fought with a desperation 
that surpassed everything I ever saw, during an Indian fight, 
and I have seen more than one. The Indians were between 
two fires ; on the bluffs above them were Dickson and his rangers, 
and Dodge leading on his men, who needed no urging; while 
we kept steaming back and forth on the river, running down 
those who attempted to cross, and shooting at the Indians on 

The soldier we picked up, helped to man the gun, and dur- 
ing the engagement, he was wounded in the knee by a rifle- 
balL The Indians' shots would hit the water or patter against 
the boat, but occasionally a rifle-ball sent with more force, 
would whistle through both sides. Some of the Indians, naked 
to the breech-cloth, slid down into the water, where they laid, 
with only their mouth and nostrils above the surface; but 
by running the boat closer in to the east shore, our Monomo- 
nees were enabled to make the water too hot for them. One 
after another, they jumped up, and were shot down in attempt- 
ing to gain cover on the bank above. One warrior, more brave 
than the others, or perhaps more accustomed to the smell of 


Reminiscences of Wisconsin 263 

gun poYrder, kept his position in the water until the balls fell 
around him like hail, when he also concluded to pugh-a sJiee* 
and commenced to creep up the bank. But, he never reached 
the top, for Throckmorton had his eye on him, and drawing 
up his heavy rifle he sent a bullet through the ribs of the In- 
dian, who sprung into the air with an ugh! — and fell dead. 
There was only one person killed of those who came up on 
the Wanior^ and that was an Indian. The pilot was fired at 
many times, but escaped unharmed, though the pilot-house waa 
riddled wdth balls. 

One incident occurred during the battle that came under my 
observation, which I must not omit to relate. An old Indian 
brave and his five sons, all of w^hom I had seen on the Prairie 
and knew, had taken a stand behind a prostrate log, in a little 
ravine mid-way up the bluff; from whence they fired on the 
regulars with deadly aim. The old man loaded the gims as 
fast as his sons discharged them, and at each shot a man fell. 
They knew they could not expect quarter, and they sold their 
lives as dear as possible; making the best show of fight, and 
held their ground the firmest of any of the Indians. But, 
they could never withstand the men under Dodge, for as the 
volunteers poured over the bluff, they each shot a man, and in 
return, each of the braves was shot down and scalped by the 
wild volunteers, who out with their knives and cutting two 
parallel gashes do^vn their backs, would strip the skin from 
the quivering flesh, to make razor straps of. In this manner I 
saw the old brave and his five sons treated, and afterward had 
a piece of their hide. 

After the Indians had been completely routed on the east 
side, we carried Col. Taylor and his force across the river, to 
islands opposite, which we raked with grape and round shot. 
Taylor and his men charged through the islands to the right 
and left, but they only took a few prisoners; mostly women 
and children. I landed with the troops, and was moving along 
the shore to the north, w^hen a little Indian boy, with one of 

♦Puck-a-shee — he off — escape — is quite a common word with several of the 
Western Indian triljes. The ShawAnoes u&ed it. L. C. D. 

264 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

his arms shot most off, came out of the bushes and made signs 
for something to eat. He seemed perfectly indifferent to pain, 
and only sensible of hunger, for when I carried the little naked 
feJlow aboard, some one gave him a piece of hard bread, and he 

stood and ate it, with the wounded arm dangling by the toja 
flesh; ani so he remained until the arm was taken off. 

Old Wa-ba-shaw with a band of his warriors and the Mo- 
nomonees, were sent in pursuit of those of Black Hawk's peo- 
ple who crossed the Mississippi, and very few of the Sauk and 
Pox Indians ever reached their own country. The Warrior 
carried do^vn to the Prairie, after the fight, the regular troops, 
wounded men and prisoners ; among the latter was an old Sauk 
Indian, who attempted to destroy himself, by pounding his 
own head with a rock, much to the amusement of the soldiers. 

Soon after Black Hawk was captured, the volunteers were 
discharged, and I received a land warrant for my two months 
service, settled down and got married. 

When Taintor and Reed came here and took contracts to 
furnish the Fort with wood, which was soon after the close of 
the Black Hawk war, when they were showing Black Hawk 
around the country, I moved up on the bluff, and went into 
the employ of Reed. The wood was furnished at a high price, 
and the contractors made a good profit from it. I remained on 
the bluff some time; finally Reed went away, and I returned 
to the Prairie. Uncle Ezekiel Taintor afterwards commenced 
to keep a store on the Prairie, but the business not suiting him 
he discontinued it, and returned to his farm, where he now 
lives, a respected and well-to-do citizen of Crawford. 

In the year 1834, I think it was, I moved back to the Prai- 
rie into the old tavern. That year the small pox broke out 
in the village ; many citizens were attacked with the disease, 
and hundreds of the Indians then living in this vicinity died. 
My oldest son, then nine months old, was seized with the dis- 
ease, and recovered ; but a Winaebago, whom we called Boxer, 
and who acted as my clerk and sold liquor to the Indians, 
caught the loathsome disease, and died. I will relate the man- 
ner of his death, for he was a faithful fellow, and though he 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 265 

took in a himdred dollars a day sometimes, lie never defrauded 
me of a cent. I was about to move to Bloody Enn, and had 
sent Boxer over to see if the shanty was ready, and he took 
his canoe and went over. It seems on his way hack he felt 
sick, and drew his canoe up on the point of the island, east of 
the Kun, where the fever came on, and he laid down by the 
water's edge to drink, and there he died. There I found him 
as I was going over to the Run. I buried him on the island, 
and can show you his grave, and say, there lie the bones of an. 
honest Indian. I proceeded to Bloody Bun after burying poor 
Boxer, and was there taken with the small pox myself. I laid 
down by a spring, and remained there during the attack, four 
days and four nights, which time was passed in great misery,, 
and seemed an age to me, but after the crisis passed, I was 
enabled to reach the Prairie, where I soon regained my health, 
and then moved my family to Bloody Bun. 

In Bloody Bun I lived about two years. When I first went 
over there the cabin we moved into leaked, and one day I was 
on the roof fixing it, when I saw a deer coming down the cou- 
lee, from the north, directly towards me. I thought it was 
chased by something, and not being entirely recovered from my 
sickness, I did not get down to harm it. Soon after the deer 
passed I was attracted by an exclamation from my son, and 
looking, I discovered a large gray woK making towards him. I 
got down quickly, and snatching up a gun loaded with small 
shot, that my wife had been hunting with, I ^.dvanced towards 
the wolf, but it did not retreat until I sent a charge of shot into 
its face. 

Bloody Bun was a great hunting ground, and Martin Scott,* 
of whom I know many interesting anecdotes, made it his fa- 
vorite beat, when in pursuit of game. From this circumstance 
it is said the Bim derived its name, but that is an error, for 
the true origin of Bloody Bun, is known to some old settlers 
now alive, and is as follows: 

• See vol. il, p. 119, TF/«. Hist CoUections, for a notice of Col. Scott. L. C. D. 

2 66 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

No. 9 

Bloody Run is so called, from an incident of backwoods' 
life, which I will relate as it was told me, by a person who 
was born in these parts, and who is now living in Prairie Du 
Chien. The name applies to a large ravine or valley, on the 
west side of the Mississippi, in Iowa, opposite Prairie Du 
Chien, and one mile noi-th of McGregor. A stream of pure, 
cool spring water, clear as a crystal, and thickly skirted with a 
growth of timber, meanders along through the valley, over its 
pebbly bottom towards the Mississippi, into which it flows. 
This stream winds between high wood-covered bluffs that bound 
the valley on either side ; and at a distance of more than seven 
miles from its mouth, it furnishes power to run Spalding & 
Marsh's mill. 

In that season of the year when vegetation and verdure are 
at their height, a picturesque sight is presented to the toui-ist, 
as he winds his way along the stream through the valley of 
Bloody Hun. The lover of nature has never imagined a wilder, 
more beautiful place than was Bloody Run, when I w^as there 
in 1834. Xo wonder that Martin Scott chose this as his fa- 
orite hunting-gTOund. His true sportsman instinct led him to 
this place, to watch for the red deer as it came down from the 
bluff at mid-day, to slake its thirst, and cool its panting sides 
in the crystal waters of the Run. Here it was, his brag gun 
dealt death among the wood-cock, wood-duck and pheasants, 
that were very abundant in the valley; and here, too, trans- 
pired a scene of blood-shed that gave to this beautiful spot its 
ominous name. 

There is scarcely a stream, point, bluff, wood, coulee or cave 
in the West, but has attached to it some associations that are 
alone peculiarly historical; and as I possessed a natural curi- 
osity to learn the derivation of names that to me seemed pecul- 
iar, my probings have often brought to light, mines of legendary 
lore and antique history. 

It was years ago before the English were guided to and cap- 
tured Prairie Du Chien, and before the traitorous guide hid 

1867] Reminiscences ot Wisconsin 267 

himself in a cave in Mill Coulee — when Prairie Du Cliien was 
inJiat)ited by only a few French families and Indian traders, 
that an event occurred which gave to the Coulee, wherein 
iNTorth McGregor is now being built, the name of Bloody Run. 
A couple of traders lived on the Prairie, named Antoine 
Brisbois and George Fisher, and as was the custom with 
those extensively engaged in the fur trade, these two traders 
had their clerks or agents, who they supplied with goods to 
dispose of to the Indians. Among other clerks, were two who 
Hved with their families in Bloody Run. Their names were 
Smith Stock and a Mr. King. King-^s wife was a squaw 
from the Sauk tribe, while Mr. Stock and wife were English, 
and both families lived on a little bench or table land, about a 
mile and a half from the mouth, on the north side of the val- 
ley. Their cabin Avas situated a few rods west of the log house 
now standing, and I can show you the stones of the old fash- 
ioned fire-place, lying where they fell after the cabin went to 

The clerks had sold a quantity of goods to the Indians on 
credit, who were backward in canceling the debt. Among 
other Indians who had got in debt for goods, was a Sauk chief, 
Gray Eagle.^ The chief had been refused any more credit, 
and would not pay for what he had already obtained. This 
dishonesty on the part of the chief made King impatient, and 
he told his wife that he would go to Gray Eagle's village, and 
if the chief did not pay, then he would take the chief's horse 
for the debt. His wife told him it would be dangerous to treat 
a chief that way, and warned him not to go; but he said he 
had traded too long with the Indians to be afraid of them, and 
started to collect the debt. 

On his way to the village he met the chief, unarmed, riding 
on the very horse he had threatened to take. Approaching 
him, he dragged the chief off, gave him a beating, and got on 

•We have no further certain information of this chief. 

Me-ca-itch, or the Eagle, a Sauli chief of Missouri, signed the treaty of 1815. 
Mau-que-tee, or the Bald Eagle, a Fox chief, signed the treaty at Rock Island, 
in 1832. 

Pe-a-chin-a-car-mack, or Black-Headed Eagle, father and son. signed the 
treaty with the Sauks and Foxes in 1830 : and the same year Pe-a-chin-wa. a 
Sauk chief, signed the treaty of Dubuque, with Gen. Dodge. L. C. D. 

2 68 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voir 

the horse himself and rode it home, and tied it before the 
shanty door. When he told his wife what he had done, she 
said she was afraid the chief would seek revenge, and warned 
her husband to be cautions. Soon after Mrs. King rushed 
into the cabin and said that Gray Eagle was near at hand 
with some of his people. Upon hearing this, King arose to 
go out to the horse^ but he scarcely reached the door before a 
bullet from Gray Eagle's rifle pierced his brain, and he fell 
across the thresh-hold a bloody corpse. The Indian took the 

Mr. Stock, the remaining trader, persisted in his refusals to 
give the Indians credit, which so enraged them, that they shot 
him through the heart. After this last tragedy, the surviving 
members of those two families removed from the old claim, 
and for years after no white man lived in the valley, which, 
from the murders perpetrated there by the Indians, has ever 
since been called Bloody Bun, 

Such is a description and history of the place where I went 
to live twenty-four years ago; and it remained about the same 
until within two or three years. I lived there two years and 
raised two good crops, and spent the pleasantest two years of 
my life. The Indians were very numerous, their reservations 
being close by, and they sometimes stole my com and potatoes, 
and killed my hogs; but I should have continued there had 
the title to the land been good. But an advantageous offer 
was made to me to go up into the Monomonee Pineries, and 
I left Bloody Kun. 

Within the last twelve months. Bloody Bun has undergone 
a great change. The land titles have been investigated and 
adjusted; the floating population of the West has begun to 
settle there; mills have been built; dwellings erected, and a 
rail-road is surveyed through the valley, and partly built. A 
young city is rearing itseK in the valley; and will yet surpass 
its neighbor (McGregor), in population and trade, as it does 
now in its natural advantages. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 269 

No. 10 

It was in 1839, while in the Monomonee Pineries, that 
desirous of returning to Prairie Du Chien, I looked around 
for the means of doing so. I pitched upon a plan that few 
would think of in this age of progress, when a very few hours 
suffice to perform the journey, that then occupied as many 
days. But there was no conveniences of travel on the Upper 
Mississippi then; a passage in a high-pressure steamboat, such 
as was the Science^ could not be counted on with any certainty. 
I got a large Mackinaw boat, rigged an awning, and placed 
niy family aijd what few worldly goods I possessed in it, and 
made the trip from the mills on Monomonee Eiver to the 

We had a pleasant trip, calling and floating down the river; 
and were I to give a minute sketch of it, you might think it 
interesting; but as I am anxious to give an account of things 
in general rather than a personal history, I will merely notice 
one incident of our journey, which occurred before our safe 
arrival at Prairie Du Chien. 

Our boat was thirty feet in length and the awning extended 
over a space of fifteen feet in the centre, beneath which was 
placed our goods, provisions and bedding, at the same time 
affording shelter for my wife and children, from the rain and 
night damps. In the stem I had reserved a space to work the 
steering oar, while in the bow was a stove where my wife 
cooked our food and such game as I shot With all the 
exposure of that trip, I look back at the time thus spent as 
among the pleasantest of my life. 

One day while the boat was floating lazily down with the 
current, opposite Trempealeau Mountain, my attention was 
called to an animal, pointed out by my wife. It was on a long, 
narrow bar or point of an island just below us, and appeared 
to be playing with some object, unconscious of our approach. 
I was not long in discovering that it was a large panther, and 
made up my mind to shoot it, for at that time I had never 
killed one. So telling my wife to take the oar and direct the 

270 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

boat to a point nearest the beast, I stood in the bow ready to 
fire as soon as we had approached near enough. The panther 
kept dragging the object about, unmindful of the boat, until 
its keel grated on the sand within twenty feet of it. Just as 
the boat stopped, I fired. The buUet pierced its vitals, and 
after satisfying myself that it was dead, got out to skin it, 
when I found that one of the panther^s paws was firmly locked 
in the jaws of a large, hard-shell turtle. It appeared to me 
that the panther had been in search of food, and spying the 
turtle, crept up to it, with the intent to catch it, and he did 
catch it; he ''caught a tartar.'' The turtle got a paw in his 
mouth, and kept hold so firmly that the panther was unable 
to extricate it. I am of the opinion that the panther knew 
he had "put his foot in it,'' and out of respect to his unfortu- 
nate condition, I never boasted the exploit of killing him. 
The skin of the panther was not worth a soii-marTcee, but the 
turtle was a prize I knew how to manage, for I was something 
of an epicure. The turtle furnished us with many a delicious 
feast, until we reached the Prairie. 

I found on arriving at Prairie Du Chien that the speculating 
mania had come to a crisis, and "hard times" had put a 
damper on the spirits of the people, as well as put a stop to all 
enterprises. Peal estate was still held at high rates, but it did 
not change owners as frequently as in 1836. The state of 
affairs was similar to that of 1858. 

In the year 1824, one cow would buy a small farm. As an 
instance, showing how cheap land could be bought then, I 
will cite a fact that occurred to me. A certain person owed 
me a bill of five dollars, and not having the money, he came 
to me and offered to deed a piece of property to me to pay the 
debt. Low as such property was, taxes were very heavy, and 
so I would not aceept the offer. B. W. Brisbois afterwards 
paid eight hundred dollars for the lot, and now it is not to be 
had at any price. 

The Territorial Government of Wisconsin was established 
when I had returned in 1839, and I believe that I sat on the 
jury when the first criminal case was tried under the Territo- 


1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 271 

rial law of Wisconsin. As no harm can be done, I will give a 
brief history of this case, to show how such things were 
then managed. Judge Dunn was presiding at that time, 
and Ezekiel Taintor, w^ho summoned me, was acting Sher- 
iff. The defendant was a Dacotah Indian, charged with the 
crime of murdering a young man named Akins, whose father 
was prosecuting. From the evidence it appeared that Akins 
the senior, was a trader at the head of the Mississippi, where 
he had a trading house. Young Akins attended to the trad- 
ing-house department, while his father who resided in a house 
some distance off, furnished the goods and capital. In his in- 
tercourse with the Indian, the son had seen a remarkable hand- 
some young squaw, and taken some kind of liking for her. 
The squaw was the wife of a young brave. By means of num- 
erous presents, Akins persuaded the squaw to desert her hus- 
band, and live with him in the trading house. When the In- 
dian came for his squaw, Akins locked the doors and refused 
to let her go. The Indian went away, but returned the next 
evening about dusk, and walked into the house where Akins 
was sitting, and again asked for his squaw. Akins refused to 
let her go, and the Indian shot him dead on the spot. The 
father of young Akins had the Indian brought down here for 

The case was conducted with very few formalities; and 
whenever the court took a recess, the jury were locked up in a 
grocery^ where for the sum of 75 cents each, we could have all 
the liquor we wanted, provided we did not waste or carry any 
away. Xow imbibing was quite prevalent among all classes, 
in that day, and if each of the jurymen drank his 75 cents 
worth in one night, the Judge and Counselors could not have 
been far behind in that lespect; and some individual was 
heard to say, that the 'prisoner was the only sober man in the 
court room. After the jury were charged, we were locked up 
two days and three nights — I generally got out and went home 
nights, but came into court in the morning; and on the third 
morning we brought in a verdict of "not guilty/' and the In- 
dian was discharged. 

272 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

If there were any irregularities in the administration of jus- 
tice, after the Territory of Wisconsin was organized, there 
were many more under the Michigan Territorial Government. I 
remember that soon after I came to Prairie Du Chien, Joseph 
Eolette was Chief Justice, I forget who his associates were, 
and it was rich to watch the proceedings and decisions of the 
court. Joseph M. Street, H. L. Dousman, and M. Brisbois 
were afterwards appointed to the offices of Chief Justice and 
Associate Judges, and a decided improvement was introduced 
in the manner of conducting the court. Severally, the Asso- 
ciates had the powers of a Justice of the Peace; they could 
marry persons, issue warrants for arrest, &c., but it was only 
collectively that they had original jurisdiction in civil and 
criminal natters. 

Prom 1840 until the commencement of the war with Mexi- 
co, nothing to excite interest occurred; unless we remark that 
the country was rapidly filling up with new comers. In 1846 
orders were received to raise a volunteer company of one hun- 
dred men. 

When I left Bloody Run to go up to Lockwood's mill on 
the Monomonee, in 1836 or '37, gTeat speculative excitement 
existed. Land Companies 'Nos. 1 and 2 were formed, and great 
improvements and projects were commenced. At Prairie Du 
Chien and Cassville, towns were laid out, hotels built, and real 
estate was held at enormous prices. It was designed to make 
Cassville the Capital of the Michigan Territory; but mens' 
practice always falls short of their theory. The hard times 
came on, and the much talked of project was abandoned ; land 
depreciated, and a general stagnation of business ensued. 
Among the organizations of the times was a wild-cat banking 
institution, entitled the 'Trairie Du Chien Ferry Company.'' 
This Company issued its shin-plasters at Prairie Du Chien; 
some of which I have, and they bear the signatures of G. Wash- 
ington Pine, President ; and H. W. Savage, Cashier. This . 
pioneer bank, however^ had to succumb to the pressure, and 
adopted the "suspend payment" system, which suspension 
has lasted to the present day. 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 273 

The Kev. Alfred Brunson, and quite a nuinber of persons, 
some now living in Curt's settlement^ came here the year I 
went to the mills on Monomonee River. I went to Lake Pepin 
with my family in the steamboat Science. At the Lake were 
two trading houses. Immediately upon our arrival at the 
Lake, a fierce battle was fought on its shores, between the 
Sioux and Chippewas, which resulted in the defeat of the lat- 
ter. I passed the scene of the fight, and saw the mutilated 
bodies of the dead Indians. The Chippewa Indians were bet- 
ter warriors than the Sioux, but being poor, their arms are 
almost valueless, which accounts for their defeat. From the 
Lake we went up the Chippewa River in Mackinaw boats. 
The water of the Chippewa is as red as wine, and a crimson 
streak may be seen for some distanc below its mouth. This 
color I attribute to deposits of iron-ore through which the 
channel of the river runs. On reaching the miUs, (there being 
three of them,) I entered upon my duties as a lumberman. 
The mills were situated on the Monomonee River, in a tract of 
neutral ground between the Chippewa and Sioux Indians. 
These two tribes were constantly warring against each other, 
and I had frequent opportunities to see war parties of both 
tribes. There were some Chippewas living near the mills, who 
sold game, maple sugar, wild fruits and such like articles to 
the mill hands. 

On one occasion the hands had gone to work, and left their 
cabin locked up, when a number of Chippewas came in their 
absence, crept through a window, stole the blankets from the 
beds, pork from the barrel, filled their blankets with flour, and 
started away with all their plunder. Fortunately, the mill 
hands discovered their loss early. They pursued the Indians, 
overtook them, gave them a good whipping, and took away 
everything that had been stolen. It was with such incidents 
as these, that we relieved the monotony of life in the Pinery. 

One day my wife was alone in our cabin, when an old 
Chippewa who had often visited us, came in with some maple 
sugar. My wife took the sugar, and in return gave him some 
pork and flour, at the same time telling him she thought there 


2 74 Wisconsin Historical Collections [roi.y 

were Sioux Indians near, for tliat day she smelled Mnnikinnich 
smoke in the woods. The Chippewa soon left, and it seemed 
not more than a moment after that the house was filled with a 
war party of Sioux. The chief asked her if there was any 
Chippewas there, and she answered that she had not seen any. 
The Sioux said they had tracked one to the cabin, and taking 
some of the sugar the Indian had brought, called it "Chip- 
pewa's sugar/' and said they would eat the sugar, and cut the 
Chippewa's throat when they caught him. The war party ate 
all the food they could get, and then filed out; but they didn't 
catch the old Indian, for he managed to escape, and afterwards 
brought game to our house. 

There is something mysterious in the appearance of a war 
party. I have seen several, and they glided along like a ser- 
pent, with noiseless, even motion; and had I not been looking 
at them, I should not have known that they were passing with- 
in thirty feet of me. Once a raft broke to pieces, and I went 
with the men to recover the lumber. While engaged in col- 
lecting it, we had to pass over a ridge frequently during the 
day, and at night when we were going over on our way back 
to the mills, we heard a laugh close by our side. We looked 
aroimd for the cause, but not finding it, we were about to move 
onj when the laugh was repeated, and we were surprised to see 
what we had taken for a pine stump, assume the form of a 
Chippewa scout. It appears he had been hid there all day, 
watching for Sioux, and we had passed within arms' reach sev- 
eral times, without seeing him. 

I remained two years in the Pineries and could have made 
money, had I accepted the offer made me if I would remain 
longer; but I desired to return to Prairie Du Chien. 

No. 1 1 

The year after my coming down from Lockwood's Mills, 

in 1840, an election occurred, and I was solicited to accept 

the oflace of Constable in and for the coimty of Craw- 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 275 

ford, and Territory of Wisconsin On tb*^ 28th of September^ 

1840, I was duly elected, and on the 19th day of October, was 
qualified before C. J. Learned, to perform the duties of the 
office. The business of Constable here, eighteen years ago, 
was not very considerable, yet there was a kind of character 
attached to the office in that day, which made its occupant a 
person of note and dread, in the eyes of the then unsophisti- 
cated inhabitants of this vicinity. Well do I remember the 
first writ I served ; the trepidation that took hold of the person 
against whom it was issued, when I came into his presence. 
But he has got bravely over that, and is at this time, one of 
the first citizens of Prairie Du Chien, under obligation to no 

Ezekiel Taintor was elected Sheriff of Crawford County, 
about 1840 ; at all events, he occupied that office in the year 

1841. This point was then the place for holding all criminal 
trials, for the entire country north-west of it. Some very noted 
lawyers of those times, were located here; among these was 
T. P. Burnett, a thorough read lawyer, and a gentleman of 
respectability. His public services will long be remembered 
by the citizens of Wisconsin. He died in 1846, leaving a 
vacant seat in the Territorial Legislature, and a large circle of 

In the year 1841, J. Rolette, the first citizen of Prairie Du 
Chien, died, and was buried in the Catholic grave-yard. Pour 
years previous, Michael Brisbois, an old fur-trader, and citi- 
zen, died, and was buried on the summit of a high bluff, in 
accordance with a request made previous to his death. The 
bluff is back of the town, and is called Mt. Pleasant; and 
strangers whose curiosity prompts them with a desire to see 
all the sights of this beautiful valley, often climb up to the 
grave, where, reclining beneath the weather-beaten cross, they 
feast on the ma^ificent scene that can be had from the bluff, 
or listen to the story of the old pioneer's request. 

In 1842, the subject of religion created considerable inter- 
est, and at a quarterly meeting conference, held in Prairie Du 

Chien on the 25th day of September, in that year, the project 


276 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

of building tlie first Methodist Episcopal cliurcli, was talked 
over and resolved on. At that same meeting a committee of 
three: Mr. Dandlj, H. Brace and Sam. Gilbert, were ap- 
pointed to secure a suitable piece of ground on which to build 
— to make out plans — estimate the cost, and to obtain sub- 
scriptions in money, materials and labor, for the erection of the 
church. The committee selected Lot ^0. 15, of H. L. Dous- 
man's Addition to St. Friole, part of farm lot Iso. 32, as the 
most suitable piece of ground for the purpose. This lot was 
donated to the church by Col. IT. L. Dousman. Subscriptions 
to the amount $1,034.93, in cash and materials were soon 
raised; and on the 6th of April, 1843, the building committee: 
Eev. A. Brunson, Sam. Gilbert and H. Brace, entered into 
a contract with H. H. Baily and G. W. Blunt, for the erec- 
tion of the church. The building was tol)e fifty feet long by 
thirty-six feet wide, with stone foundation — to have on the 
front-end a tower fourteen feet square at the base, and thirty 
feet high from the main plate, ^\'ith spires at each corner; to 
have a gallery on the front-end eight feet wide. Blunt and 
Baily agreed to have this building finished by September 1, 
1843, in consideration of $1,010 ; but the church was not fin- 
ished at the time. This I believe to be a true account of the 
project to build the first Methodist Episcopal church at Prairie 
Du Chien. 

Taking an interest in church matters, about this time, I am 
able to narrate the particulars of the Methodist Sunday School 
organization, and the establishing of the Sunday School Li-- 
brary. The latter was formed by subscription and donations, 
and comprised many volumes — some very valuable works. I 
was superintendent of the Sabbath School at one time, and 
took great pleasure in it. 

Robert D. Lester was Sheriff in 1844, and sustained the 
character of being a prompt and faithful officer; he came to 
his death in a bloody manner, while returning home after the 
execution of some official business. He had been up to St. 
Peters or St. Paul, and in the absence of steam-boats had ob- 
tained a canoe, and was returning to the Prairie. He wore a 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 277 

soldier's coat, and an Indian, probably mistaking Kim for a dis- 
charged soldier, and incited with a desire for plunder, shot 
him from the shore as he was paddling down the Mississippi. 
An old Frenchman, in another canoe about half a mile distant, 
saw Lester when he sprung up and fell over the side of the 
canoe; but was not near enough to identify the Indian. The 
Indian was taken, however, put in captivity, and confined two 
months; but owing to a flaw in the indictment. Judge Dunn 
released him, and made the remark: that, ^'if the people won't 
select a Prosecuting Attorney, who can draw up a document 
that will hold, I will not keep the prisoners in jail 'till they 
rot!" The Attorney then in question, is now considered one 
of the best read lawyers in the State. 

At a general election held on the 22d day of September^ 
1845, I vras elected to the office of Coroner and Constable for 
Crawford County. In the first office, the duties that devolved 
on me were neither few nor pleasant. The holding of inquests 
on the bodies of persons picked up in the river, and found 
murdered, were of morei frequent occurrence than now. The 
country being thinly settled, detection was easily avoided, and 
the penalties of the law hard to enforce; so evil-disposed per- 
sons, not having the fear of certain punishment before them,, 
perpetrated deeds of violence with perfect impunity. I waa 
once notified that a dead body was lying in the water, oppo- 
site Pig's Eye Siough, and immediately proceeded to the spot, 
and on taking it out, I recognized it as the body of a negro 
woman belonging to a certain Captain then in Fort Crawford. 
The body was cruelly cut and bmised; but the person not ap- 
pearing to recognize it, a verdict of 'Tound Dead," was rend- 
ered, and I had the corpse buried. Soon after it came to 
light that the woman was whipped to death, and thrown into 
the river during the night; but no investigation was made, and 
the affair blew over. 

For a long terms of years have I held positions that gave me 
every opportunity of observing and detecting crime; as a Po- 
liceman, Constable, Sheriff and Justice of the Peace, I was an 
almost daily witness of rascalities, and could furnish a calendar 


278 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. v 

of crimes perpetrated in the ^orth-West that would startle 
even those who have lived here a much longer time, but who are 
not as thoroughly posted in criminal affairs. There iz an indi- 
vidual now living in the town, hiwwn to be guilty of several 
murders. Others ai*e aware of this fact, and desire a full history 
of the murders, which I have in my possession; but I do not 
feel warranted in imfolding the history at present, but will do 
so at another time and place. 

The subject of education was not an unknown one in Prai- 
rie Du Chien, at that day; taxes were levied and money ap- 
propriated to establish and sustain district schools. In Janu- 
ary, 1846, I was appointed Collector for District ^STo. 2, of 
which E. W. Pelton was Trustee. It was this same year that 
the affairs with Mexico came to a head ; war was declared, and 
volunteers were raised throughout the county. Orders were 
received from the Secretary of War to raise a company to oc- 
cupy Fort Crawford during the trouble with Mexico. A com- 
pany was enlisted under Brevet Major A. S. Hooe.* Wiram 
Knowlton was Captain, Charles Erisbois First Lieutenant; 
and on the third day of September, 1836, I received a Second 
Lieutenant^s commission from Governor Henry Dodge. The 
-inferior officers were Sergeants D. Gary, F. IsT. Grouchy and 
E. Warner; and Corporals W. R Curts, A. Titlow, B. 
I'ox and J. A. Clark; the whole number of men in the com- 
pany was seventy-three. The men were a little aristocratic, 
and they all wanted to wear officers' uniform ; but after the one 
year (which was the term of enlistment,) had expired, a new 
company was mustered by Major Garland, and placed under 
the command of Captain Knowlton, who maintained the 
strictest of military discipline. This company was styled the 
"Dodge Guards," and was commanded by the officers of the 
first company. 

On the 13th day of August, 1847, First Lieut. Charles 
Brisbois, died at his post, from a disease contracted while on 

♦Alexander S. Hooe, a Virginian, was a cadet in 1823; entered the array as 
Brevet Second Lieutenant, 1827 ; First Lieutenant, 1833 ; Captain, 1838 ; was 
distinguished in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. in the latter 
of which he lost an arm, and was brevetted Major. He died at Baton liouge. 
La., December 9, 1847. L- C. D. 


18G7J Reminiscences of Wisconsin 279 

a visit to St. Louis^ and in its fatal termination tlie conununity 
lost one of its most valuable citizens, and society an honorable 
member. He was bom and educated in the Western country, 
and from youth to manhood, had been engaged in the fur trade 
connected with the Hudson Bay Fur Company. Residing in 
a country where there was no law, he ever act-ed upon the prin- 
ciples of right, and formed a character, which in his inter- 
course with his fellow-man, had won for him the confidence 
and respect of all. As a soldier, his upright and impartial 
conduct had secured him the confidence of his superiors in 
rank, and the respect of all under his command; as a citizen 
he was liberal and active; as a friend, faithful, generous and 
kind. H© left a wife and family, and a large number of rela- 
tives and friends. We buried him in the old Catholic burying 
ground with military honors, and a large concourse of the peo- 
ple were in attendance, and joined in the solemn obsequies 
that consigned to their last resting place, the earthly remains 
of Lieut. Charles Brisbois. 

After Brisbois died, I was promoted to the First Lieut>en- 
ancy in the volunteer company of ''Dodge Guards'^ and re- 
ceived my commission dated from the 13th day of August, 
1847. I took an active part in the affairs of the post, often 
performing duties that belonged more properly to the com- 
manding officer, while Capt. Knowlton* being a superior dis- 
ciplinarian took much pride in drilling the men. 

During the year 1848, just previous to the adoption of the 
State Constitutioii, the Winnebago Indians were scattered 
through the country along the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers, 
through the Ki'^.kapoo Timbers, and the Lemonweir Valley. 
Orders came from the Sub-Indian Agent, J, E. Fletcher, to 
collect and remove them to their Reservation, near Fort 
Atkinson, lovva. 

• Wiram Knowlton, in 1828-2 9, resided witli his father on a farm near Lock- 
port, New York, and was an attendant, in the winter, at tlie same scaool with 
the writer of this note. We well remember he was fond of ^ns, and used to 
•tock them. Studying law, and early locating at Prairie Du Chien, he was 
elected Circuit Judge of his district, and served from 1850 to 1856 ; And dl^ed 
a few years since al Vralrie du Chien. L. C. D. 

2 8o Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

No. 12 

In 1848, wlien orders were received at Fort Crawford to 
remove the Winnebagoes, several attempts were made to do 
so, but with poor success. Early in the same year I received 
the following official letter: 

"Omcrs Sub Ixdiax Age:>t, 

"Turkey River, Jan. 4, '43. 

"SiE — In answer to your inquiry respecting the disposition 
to be made of the Winnebago Indians, who may be found 
wandering about through the country, I have to say, that I 
wish you to arrest them, cause them to be securely guarded, 
and report them to me as early as may be practicable. 
"Very respectfully, 

"Your obd't servant, 

"J. E. Fletchee^ 

''Indian Ag't. 

"To Lieut. , 

"Comd'g Ft. Crawford, W. T." 

Upon receipt of the above, I made all necessary preparation, 
and started with fifty men to collect the Indians. This attempt 
was quite successful, and several hundred were arrested, and 
sent to Fort Atkinson, Iowa. It may appear strange to some 
persons, that such a handful of men could take many hundred 
Indians prisoners, and guard them day and night as we trav- 
eled through a wild^ unsettled country; but it was done, and 
I have a list of the names of those men who accompanied me 
on that expedition. My journal, kept during the time we 
were hunting the Indians, presents numerous interesting items, 
only one or two of which_, I will relate. 

In taking the Indians, great caution was necessary to enable 
us to approach them. When the scouts reported that Indians 
had been discovered, four or five of the men would start on 
ahead, enter the Winnebago camp, collect all the guns and 
take off the locks, before the Indians were aware of their in- 
tention. Frequently a hunting party would come in while the 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 281 

men were -wri-locking the guns, and make a demonstration of 
resistance, hj which time our entire party would arrive, and 
prevail on them to suhmit to the same treatment ; telling them 
if they came along with us quietly, no harm would he offered 
them On the 10th of May, we- camped in a valley near the 
Baraboo, and three days after were on Dell Creek. Here the 
scou';ing party captured a Winnebago Indian, who told me 
his part of the tribe were encamped at Seven Mile Creek. I 
sent eleven men to the camp which was very large, and com- 
prised many lodges. When the main body had come up to 
tlement in the Xorth-West — have seen the da^vning of a new 
all the guns but one, which belonged to a young brave who 
refased to give it up. Fearing he might do some mischief, the 
gun was taken from him. It was a iine rifle, of which he was 
pnud; but in spite of his remonstrance, the lock was taken 
o4 and put in a bag with others. When the piece was ren- 
dered unservic^ble, they handed it back to the young Indian, 
J3b looked at it a moment, and then grasping the barrel he 
rased it above his head, and brought the stock down with 
sich force against the trunk of a young sapling as to brealv it 
t) splinters, and threw the barrel many rods from him. His 
aster, an Indian girl about seventeen years old, picked up the 
barrel and handed it to him. The brother bent it against the 
tree and then hurled it over the bank into the creek. 

The addition of the Indians put us on short allowance, and 
I was obliged to send one of the wagons back to the Baraboo 
for provisions and grain. Just before making camp on main 
ridge, the 15th of May, my horse was bit on the nose by a 
rattle-snake. The horse's head was soon swelled to twice its 
natural size, and I thought him as good as dead, when an old 
Frenchman offered to make the horse well by the next morn- 
ing. I turned the horse over to his care, and sure enough, the 
morning following the swelling had all disappeared, and the 
horse was as well as ever. I asked what he had put on to 
effect the sudden cure, he said he did not apply anything, but 
one of the men told me that he cured the horse by looking at 
and talking to it. This was the same man who cured one Theo. 

282 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Warner, now living in Prairie Du Chien, when he was bitten 
in the leg bj a rattle-snake. His name was Limmery, and a 
strange man he was; his eyes were the smallest I have ever 
seen in the head of any human being, with a piercing expres- 
sion that once seen could never be forgot. He would never 
allow a snake to be killed if he could help it, and could take 
up the most venomous snake with impunity. I saw him take 
up a large moccasin snake, while we were in the Kickapoo Bot- 
toms, and it never offered to bite him, while it would strike 
fiercely at any third person who approached it. I could Dnly 
attribute the strange power of this man to some mesmeric in- 

We were fortunate enough to bring all the Indians to Pra-iie 
Du Chien without accident, where they were delivered to a 
body of regulars from Fort Atkinson, who moved them to their 
reservation. That was the last of the Winnebagoes in Wis- 
consin as a tribe. There are now a few stragglers loitering nar 
their old hunting grounds, in the Kickapoo and Wisconan 
bottom-lands, but altogether they, do not exceed a himdrtd 

In the year 1848 a society was formed at Fort Crawforc, 
called the ''Fort Crawford Temperance Society.^' The object 
of the Society was to promote the cause of temperance. All 
chat was requisite to become a member, was to sign a pledge 
to abstain from the use of liquor as a common beverage, for 
six months, a year, or any length of time a person joining 
might see fit to set opposite his name. The Society met each 
Saturday night, and so long as the interest was kept up, its in- 
fluence may have been beneficial, but like many such societies, 
it was short lived, and its effects forgotten. 

It is an impossibility to keep liquor out of a garrison if the 
men are determined to have it. Xo matter how vigilant and 
watchful the officers may be, the soldiers will smuggle it in 
some way. Major Garland had arrived at Fort Crawford, 
and was stopping at my quarters, and was expected to inspect 
the men. So strict orders were given, to prevent men passing 
in and out with suspicious packages, and to search all such, to 

1867] Reminiscences of Wisconsin 283 

see if they had whisky about them. Trusty sentinels were 
put on guard at all the sally-ports, and when the first review 
came off, every man was in his place, and after Capt. Knowl- 
ton had drilled them a while, the Major was perfectly satisfied 
with their discipline and equipments, and complimented the 
ofiicers on the fine appearance of the men. That same even- 
ing, after supper, Major Garland proposed a stroll through 
town. It was a nice, moonlight night, and we remained out 
some time after tattoo. When we reached the gate that opened 
into the grounds that surrounded the Fort, something attracted 
the Major's attention, and he pointed an object out to me, and 
asked: Is that a cat going towards the Fort? I looked 
in the direction, and supposing it was only a cat creep- 
ing across the green, I paid no more attention to it. 
When we were about to enter the little private wicket in the 
north-east gate, Major 'Garland spoke and said, ^'See, that cat 
is making in this direction; it moves strangely, let us see 
what's the matter with it." So passing along under the wall, 
we reached a little ditch paved with rock, that carried off the 
water from the inside of the Fort, here we discovered a string 
stretching out towards the cat, that still continued to approach 
us. Stepping on this string, the Major cut it, and all at once 
the cat stopped within a few feet of us. It was evident the 
string governed the motions of the cat, and taking hold of one 
end, we drew the apparent cat up to us ; but on close examin- 
ation, it proved to he a cat's skirhj stuffed with a bladder full of 
whisky. The Major had just been speakiag of the unusual 
sober appearance of the volunteers, while I had lauded the re- 
forming influence of the Temperance Society. He little sus- 
pected that the patrol guard we passed in our walk, had the 
barrels of their guns charged with fire-umter, warranted to Mil 
forty rods; but it was even so. 

On the Cth day of September, 1848, I obtained my "honor- 
able discharge,'' from the '^Dodge Guards," and returned to 
citizen but not private life ; for soon my friends offered me the 
office of Justice, which I accepted and filled for a number of 
years; since which time, all matters of interest have been no- 


284 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. y 

ticed by many other persons^ who have made the public fami- 
liar with them. I will merely remark, that I have witnessed 
the gradual progress of civilization in the West, for fifty years ; 
came to Prairie Du Chien when it was the most extreme set- 
tlement in the Xorth-AYest — have seen the da^\Tiing of a new 
epoch, since the introduction of railroads and the electric tele- 
graph, and being yet strong and robust, I may live to enjoy a 
share of their benefits. 

In conclusion, I would say that very many things, historical 
incidents, legends, adventures and such like matters, have es- 
caped my memory, but hope to relate them at some future time. 
Should I move into one of the new Territories, and live another 
half century, I hope to be able to give a more interesting ac- 
count of an old pioneer's life. 


1867] , Black Hawk War 285 

Dodge's Volunteers in the 
Black Hawk War 

Wasiiixgtox City, Jan. 20, 1851. 
To the Editor of the Pctosi Republican: 

Sib: — As I have received a great number of letters asking 
the date at which particular companies were called into service 
of the United States, in 1832 — the time for which they served 
—the number, designation, &c., of the Kegiments I had the 
honor to command in the Indian. War of that year^ I send you 
a letter from the Second Auditor, containing the information 
wanted, and ask the favor of you to insert it in your paper, 
hoping it may be of service to those who performed military 
service in 1832, in establishing their claims for bounty lands, 
under the recent act of Congress. 

I remain, Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Henby Dodge. 

Tbeasuby DEPAETiiENT, 2d Auditob's Office, 
January, To, 1851. 

SiE : — The following appear to be the names of the Captains, 
and the periods paid for, by the companies under your com- 
mand, designated "Iowa County regiment, Michigan Volun- 
teers," in the Black Hawk war, to-wit: 

Capt. ClarFs Company, from 16th May to 16th Oct., 1832 
" Dixon's " " 17th June to 17th July, 1832 

" Gentry's " " 11th May to 9th Oct., 1832 

" Parkinson's " " 17th June to 20th Aug., 1832 


2 86 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

Capt. Price's Company, from 20tli May to 20th Aug., 1832 
Kountree's " 17th May to iTth June, 1832 

Berry's " " 19th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Delong's " " 24th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Punk's " " 19th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Gehon's " " 19th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

W. Hamilton's " 2d May to 20th Aug., 1832 

I. Hamilton's " " 19th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Jones' " " 20th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Mone's " " 20th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

O'Harra's " " 4th July to 20th Aug., 1832 

Sherman's " " 20th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Teny'3 " " 18th May to 20th Aug., 1832 

Thomas' " " 1st June to 20th Aug., 1832 

Mr. Rountree's letter is herewith returned. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

P. Claytox, 
Second Avditor. 

Hon. Kenry Dodge, U. S. Senate, 


1867] Black Hawk War 287 

Reminiscence of the Black 
Hawk War 

Previous to the spring of 1832, several families had settled 
in the valley of Apple Kiver, Jo Daviess County^ 111. Their 
peaceful employments had been uninterrupted until the spring 
of that year, at which time the Black-Hawk war commenced. 
The Indians then began their ravages. Houses were pillaged, 
and the inhabitants were obliged to remain concealed, while 
they saw their horses taken from the plow in the field, and 
driven off with shouts of savage joy. Por their mutual pro- 
tection, they erected a fort ten miles up the river, where the 
town of Elizabeth now stands. The men formed themselves 
into a company under the command of Captain Stone, for the 
defence of the fort; and thither the inhabitants fled for pro- 
tection. In the course of the summer. Col. James M. Strode, 
commander at Galena, sent an express of five men to Dixon, 
on Kock River, at which place Gen. Atkinson's army was 
stationed. The express Tvas commanded by Captain I'rederic 
Dixon, an old pioneer^ and a man of great experience in In- 
dian warfare. They started out on Sunday morning — a wet, 
rainy day, and to protect their guns from the dampness of the 
atmosphere, the party discharged them. They • proceeded on 
their route, and reached Apple River Fort about noon. They 
found it in a very defenceless situation. Some of the inmates 
were out gathering berries, others sleeping, and some walking 
about in quest of amusement. The express halted a few mo- 
ments and then passed on. When about 400 or 500 yards east 
of the Fort, some Indians secreted in the high grass fired on 
the foremost man of the guard, wounding him in the hip. He 

•This article origina:iy appeared In the Galena Advertiser, In April, 1859, 
written by "Emllie ;" and appears to be entitled to full credit, L. C. D. 


2 88 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

was thrown from his horse, and the savages rushed upon him 
with the tomahawk. Captain Dixon charged upon them with 
his empty gun and rescued the wounded man. They then re- 
turned to the Fort, and raised the alarm. Scarcely had the in- 
habitants reached it, and closed the gates, when 270 Indians 
surrounded the Fort, and raising the most demoniac yelk, 
mingled with the Indians war-whoop, commenced an indiscrim- 
inate fire. The gates being closed with Captain Dixon on the 
outside, he started at full speed lor Galena. In his rapid flight 
west of the Fort he rode into a party of 25 or 30 Indians, who 
appeared as much surprised as himself, permitting him to es- 
cape without molestation. We now return to the Fort. 

The Indians kept a hot fire for two or three hours, while 
concealed behind the stumps or out-buildings. Capt. Stone^s 
company were mostly absent, and the fort numbered only 
some fifteen effective men. The women and children were 
panic-stricken, crying and wringing their hands. At this 
stage of affairs, Mrs. Elizabeth Armstrong, wife of John Arm- 
strong, of Sand Prairie, in this county, finding the Fort but 
poorly supplied with balls, divided the women into two par- 
ties ; the first, who could load fire arms, constituting the first di- 
vision; the second were to run bullets. Mrs. Armstrong deliv- 
ered to them a short effective address, telling them that it was 
but worse than folly to give up to fear in such an emergency 
aa the present one — that they could expect no sympathy from 
the Indians, and to go to work immediately 'aad do their best 
to save the Fort. They obeyed, and under her direction per- 
formed miracles. The second division supplied the balls, 
while the first received the imipty guns from the loop-holes 
and returned them loaded. While passing round the Fort, 
Mrs. Armstrong discovered a man who, to escape the flying 
bullets, had snugly stowed himself away in an empty flour 
barrel. Quickly ejecting him from his retreat, she ordered him 
to take a gun and do service. Trembling with fear, he obeyed, 
dreading our heroine within, almost as much as the enemie-s 
without After a siege of two or three hours, the Indians re- 
tired, shooting all the stock, robbing the cabins, and carrying 



Black Hawk War 


off their dead and wounded. On our side, one man named 
Harkelrhodes was killed, and several wounded. He was bur- 
ied near the Port, but no trace remains of his resting place. 

When Capt. Dixon arrived at Galena with the news of the 
attack at Apple River, every man w^as ready to volunteer re- 
lief, but Col. Strode, thinking that so large a party of Indians 
would undoubtedly take the Fort, and then march on to Galena, 
called out every effective man, placed a numerous guard, and 
awaited an attack. The night w^as dark and rainy, and though 
entreated and warned by the people at the Eort^ a young man 
named Kirkpatrick, one of the express, formed the deter- 
mination of going to Galena to inform its inhabitants of the 
result of the battle. In vain they expostulated with him that 
the Indians had gone, no one knew where, perhaps to Galena, 
and in that case, he would meet certain death. He replied 
that he did not care where the Indians had gone; that he 
knew the people there would be anxious to hear from them, 
and he would relieve their fears before he slept. He mounted 
his horse, and arrived at his destination between 10 and 11 
o'clock at night. He was soon surrounded by crowds eager 
to hear the news. It is doubtful if the inhabitants of Galena 
ever gave to any one a warmer welcome than they did to this 
noble and brave young man. He had descended from an In- 
dian fighting family, and was himself as fearless as the bra- 
vest of his ancestors. 

It was generally conceded that the Fort would have been 
taken had it not been for the exertions of Mrs. Armstrong. 
Her address and presence of mind undoubtedly enabled the 
courageous defenders of the Fort to save themselves from a hor- 
rid death by the hands of a cruel and unsparing enemy. Too 
much praise cannot be awarded to her for casting aside all wo- 
manish fear, and substituting a resolute will and strength of 
courage which might do honor to tnose of the opposite sex. 
Mrs. Armstrong was one of the first settlers in this Western 
country, and she was by nature well qualified for the hard;y 
scenes of pioneer life. Though unacquainted with the forms 

2 go Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. t 

of fashionable life, she is possessed of a strong mind and a kind 
heart, ever ready to assist those to whom her great experience 
can afford relief. She is still living, one of the best of wives 
and mothers, the warmest of friends, and kindest of neighbors. 
May she long live to enjoy the happiness and love to which 
her courage and goodness justly entitle her. 


1867] Black Hawk War 291 

Battle of the Bad Axe 

Tlie following letter appeared originally in the Mtlwcmkee 
Sentinely Dec, 28, 1863 — furnished bv a son of the writer. 
Though it gives but a brief account of the battle of Bad Axe, 
jet it is well worth a place in the store-house of historic 

"Jefi'eesox Barracks, Mo^ Sept. 2, 1832. 
"My Deab a — : After a most severe and fatiguing cam- 
paign of four months and a half, I returned to this place 
(which I now command) on the I7th of August, leaving my 
company at Rock Island, four hundred miles up the Missis- 
sippi. I had the happiness to find my wife and children all 
well, as they still remain, thanks to a kind Providence. You 
have doubtless seen by the papers that a tribe of Indians, called 
the Sacks and Foxes, in April last, invaded the State of Illi- 
nois, and commenced murdering our citizens — ^women and 
children. On the 8th of April, the troops from this post left 
here under command of Gen. Atkinson, and from that time 
tiU the 18th of August, I was constantly marching through 
swamps, woods, rivers, plains, &c., in rain, in sun, hot and cold, 
sleeping of course either in the open air or in my tent, which 
was about as bad. We were constantly endeavoring to over- 
take the Indians and fight them, but they, being mounted (800 
or 900 warriors) kept out of our way, until at length on the 
2d of August, we overtook their whole army on the bank of 
the Mississippi^ ahoiit fifty miles above Prairie Du Chiens, and 
immediately attacked them. After an action of three hours 
we completely defeated them, they losing one hundred and 
fifty or more killed and one hundred and twenty prisoners, and 


292 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

"we liad but twenty-seven killed and wo-anded. I think the 
war is over, as the Indians are dispersed and beaten, and are 
bringing in and surrendering their chiefs. 

"I did not see J ^ though he is with the army at Kock 

Island. He did not arrive until I had left there. Of course 
he was not in the fight, but he has been in the midst of the 
cholera, and has so far escaped. * * * 

"I expect to be in your part of the country this faU or early 

in the spring. I have been notified by the Government that 

I have been selected to superintend the construction of certain 

harbors (Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, &c.) on Lake Erie, and shall 

probably reside in Buffalo for that purpose. Had it not been 

for the Indian war, I should have been ordered there in June. 

"Your affectionate and sincere 

"Heney Smith.''* 

♦The writer, Henry Smith, was a cadet (from New York) in 1813, and 
entered the army in 1815, as a Third Lieutenant of Artillery, subsequently 
serving in the Infantry, in various grades of Second Lieutenant, Adjutant, 
Quarter Master, First Lieutenant, aid to Gen. Winfield Scott, and Captain in 
the Sixth Infantry, in July, 1826 ; then served in the Black Hawk war, and re- 
signing in Nov. 1836. He was then appointed a civil engineer, superintending 
U. S. harbor improvements on the Lakeo, in Ohio and Michigan, from 1836 to 
1840 ; was appointed Quarter Master, with the rank of Major, in March, 18-4T, 
and served in the Mexican war, and died of yellow fever, at Vera Cruz, Mexico^ 
27th July, 1847. L. C. D. 


1867] Black Hawk War 293 

Capture of Biack Hawk 

By David McBride 

At the close of the memorable Black Hawk war, in the 
summer of 1832, when that noble brave of the Sacs was 
finally over-powered, and the most of his band, men, women 
and children were killed or taken prisoners on the Bad Axe — 
when naught but ignoble submission or hasty flight was left 
for the hitherto successful chieftain of a once powerful tribe, 
who had for many years held unbounded sway over the en- 
tire territory of AVisconsin, from his favorite home on Kock 
Island to Lake Superior, and at whose war whoop a thousand 
stalwart warriors rushed to the battle field — to submit then to- 
his enemies, to those who had wronged him of his heritage, 
who had driven him, his family and his people from their 
loved homes, from their hunting grounds and from the graves 
of their fathers, w^as an act too degrading, too humiliating for 
the proud and haughty Black Sparrow Hawk,* and there- 
fore instant flight became his only alternative. He became- 
satisfied the battle was lost, and hastily retreated to a sur- 
rounding height, overlooking the sanguinary battle ground,, 
accompanied by- his faithful adjunct the Prophet, and for an 
instant turned to view the scene of his disastrous defeat, his- 
haughty bosom filled with mingled feelings of disappointment 
and despair, gave vent to a loud long yell of revenge on the 
destroyer of his family and people, then hastily fled to seek a 
temporary refuge among his jpseudo friends, the Winnebagoes, 
of the Lemonweir valley. 

•The interpretation of tiis Indian name, attached to the treaty of 1816, is 
given as Black Sparrow Hawli. L». C. D. 

2 94 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

This ever treacherous but cunning band had professed great 
friendship for the Sac chief, in his early efforts to arouse and 
combine the whole jSTorth-Westem Indians in a last great 
struggle to drive the pale-faces from their territory. He had 
held long and earnest councils at their village on Lake Win- 
nebago on his return from Maiden, where he had met the 
British agent, who had promised him efficient aid in his pro- 
ject He relied firmly on the adherence of this tribe to his 
fortunes; though not numerous, they could still aid him effi- 
ciently in this war of extermination, from the fact that they 
were to some extent in the confidence of the officers command- 
ing the frontier posts; but the subsequent history of the war 
fully exhibited their innate fickleness and treachery, both to 
Black-Hawk and the whites. 

The fugitive chief fled northward with his follower, until he 
entered the valley of the Lemonweir, where he hoped to secrete 
himself among its numerous bluffs and rocky cliffs, over which 
in former days, he had roamed and hunted with success and 
security. Xot a trail, nor noc^k, nor craggy prominence but was 
familiar to the hawk-eye of the now hunted and toil-worn 
brave. When he reached what is now known as the Seven 
Mile Bluff, from its lofty and precipitous heights he could see 
an enemy or friend in their approaches for many miles. Here 
he felt secure for the present, and cast himself down under the 
shade of its ever-greens to rest his wearied body, that had for 
many days known no respite or repose, dispatching his com-- 
panion in search of food, and to ascertain whether any of his 
Winnebago friends were in the vicinity. Late in the evening 
the messenger returned without food, but with information that 
they were pursued; that either friends or foes were on their 
trail. Kot a moment was to be lost; they must separate and 
each secrete himself as best he could. The Prophet sought 
refine in a cliff of the romantic chimney rocks, at the east end 
of the bluff, and Black Hawk selected a unique hiding place, 
where he had often, years before, secreted himself, when on 
hunting excursions, to watch for game. On a bold promono- 
tory of the bluff that stretches far out into the valley, on its 


1867] Black Hawk War 295 

northern face, and high np on the summit of a towering crag, 
stands an isolated gray pine with its dwarfed and straggling 
limbs. About twenty feet from its base, a remarkable thicket 
of small branches starts suddenly out from its trunk, like the 
cradle from the ship's mast ; covered vnth. sl dense mass of deep 
green foliage closely matted together, forming a complete pro- 
tection from outward view to a much larger animal than man, 
and from which an extended view was readily obtained of the 
leading trail, w^hich passed close to the foot of the cliff, up and 
down the valley for many miles; and which has, since the 
above event, been familiarly known as ^^Black Hawk's ISTest," 
by the early settlers of the valley. Into this secure retreat 
Black Hawk quickly ascended, to hold vigil over his now 
extremely critical position. 

For two whole days and nights he kept still in his eyrie. 
Twice during the first, runners passed on the trail, but doubt- 
ful of their character as friends or foes, the accustomed signal 
was not given; towards evening of the third, two tall chiefs 
approached in view; the quick discerning eye of the fugitive, 
recognized the well-knoT\Ti costume and gait of his former 
Winnebago friends, Cha-e-tar and One-Eyed De-cor-ra. They 
had been his friends in the early period of the contest, 
had given hiin important intelligence of the movements of the 
white men, and had even piloted him to the settlement at 
Spafiord's Farms and Fort Mound, while another of their 
chiefs, White Crow, was acting as guide to Col. Dodgei 

Soon these runner chiefs came close to the hiding place of 
Black Hawk, and encamped for the night at the base of the 
cliff upon which he was then perched. Before they slept, in 
soft whispers, the purport of their journey Avas disclosed to 
the deeply interested ear of their intended victim — their errand 
was to make him captive. Overwhelmed with disappoint- 
ment at their duplicity and treachery, but fearful of the result 
of an attempt at this moment to seek revenge, \vith character- 
istic stealthiness, at midnight, he quickly descended and again, 
sought safety in flight 

After communicating with his friend the Prophet, on his 

296 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

future plans of escape from the grasp of his pursuers, they 
both started for Prairie La Crosse^ one hundred miles up the 
Mississippi, where he could cross to the west side, and again be 
secure among the remnant of his tribe under the young chief 

But in this he was alike deceived and unfortunate. As day 
broke, Cha-e-tar and De-cor-ra, believing he had sought ref- 
uge in the great cave in one of the twin bluffs, about fifteen 
miles west, started on their hurried journey, and had proceeded 
but a few miles ere they came upon the well known trail of the 
fugitives. Though prepared for the emergency, their instruc- 
tions were to take them alive, if possible, and their policy was 
to keep close on their footsteps, well knowing they could make 
the capture before crossing the river. For two days these wary 
chiefs kept close in Black Hawk's rear, until on the evening 
of the second they saw their victims enter the wigwams of 
their band at the river, and in a few moments after they were 
in the presence of the fugitive chief and his companion. 
Black Hawk saw at once his fate was sealed, he was in the 
hands of his captors, his long cherished visions of triumph 
over his white enemies instantly vanished, but he was still a 
brave, a warrior that could meet his worst fate with dignified 
composure. His cup of misery was well nigh full. His loved 
wife and children he believed killed or taken prisoners, and 
most of his followers gone to the spirit land; he stood almost 
alone of his once powerful band of noble Sacs. But still he 
retained his native dignity, the unconquered chieftain of the 
Wisconsin. With a proud and sullen look of contempt and 
withering scorn on his treacherous captors, he silently held out 
his hands for the accustomed cord. 

The prisoners were at once secured and taken down to Gen. 
Street, at Prairie Du Chien, the Indian agent, who sent them 
immediately to Jefi^erson Barracks. 

The captors received the large promised reward for this im- 
portant service, important doubtless it was to the Government, 
but of exceeding doubtful character to a great and chivalrous 
nation. And an act that has justly consigned the degTaded 


1867] Black Hawk War 297 

instruments, Clia-e-tar and De-cor-ra,* to the universal and 
merited contempt of the honorable of both races. 
Mauston, Aug. 31, 18o7. 

♦Wadge Hut-to-kaw, or TJie Big Canoe, commonly called One-Eyed-De-Kau- 
Bay, was a son of Chah-post-kaw-kaw, or The Buzzard, who settled with a band 
of Winnebagoes at La Crosse, about 1787, where he was shortly after killed in 
a drunken row. The father of The Buzzard was a Frenchman, named Descarrie 
or De Kau-ray. who married Ho-po-ko-e-kaw, or The Glory of the Morning, a 
sister of the principal chief of the Winnebagoes, according to Augustin Grignon, 
but more probably the daughter, according to Judge Gale, as derived from 
One-Eyed De Kauray, who ought to be the better authority regarding his owa 
ancestry. This elder De-Kau-ray, fought under De Langlade during the old 
French and Indian war, and was mortally wounded before Quebec, April 28th, 
1760, and died shortly after at Montreal. His widow Ho-po-ko-e-kaw, was the 
chieftess of her tribe when Carver visited the Winnebagoes in 1766, and not 
Improbably the heroine described by Carver, who liberated some of her country- 
men when captured by Capt. Marin, in 1730. This Winnebago queen — "an 
ancient woman" when Carver saw her — was also the mother of Chou-ke-kaw or 
The Ladle, who was the father of Scha-chip-ka-ka, or The White War Eagle^ 
who has been repeatedly mentioned in this and former volumes. 

One-Eyed De Kau-ray, was born about 1772, and was consequently about 
fifteen years of age when his father and other Winnebagoes settled at La Crosse. 
He aided in the capture of Mackinaw in 1812 ; was out in 1813, when th€ 
British attacked Fort Stephenson, and took part in Col. McKay's esp^ditioa 
against Prairie Du Chien, in 1814. But his participation in the capture of 
Black Hawk, in 1832, has given him most distinction. He was a signer of the 
Prairie du Chien treaty in. 1825. He died near the Tunnel, Monroe County, 
Wisconsin, in August, 1864, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. His aged 
brother, Wa-kon-haw-kaw, or Wa-kon De Kau-ray, or Snake Skin, the orator of 
the Winnebagoes, was very recently living among his people, in Minne- 
sota. L. C. D. 


298 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

Dells of Wisconsin : Black 
Hawk's Cave 

These narrows in the Wisconsin Kiver are situated in Adams 
County, about a mile and a half above the place where we are 
located, and are considerably noted for their wild scenery, and 
especially for their somewhat dangerous character in rafting 
through them. The perpendicular rocky banks are fifty or 
sixty feet high, and, for half a mile or more, the river is nar- 
rowed to about one-fourth its average width. In one place, 
the rocks on either side are only about fifty feet apart; and 
this place is spanned by a timber bridge, called ''Dell Bridge.'' 
ISTear the west end of this bridge is an opening in the rocks, 
called "Black Hawk's Cave," because, it is said, Black Hawk 
once secreted himself there to avoid his pursuers. We lately 
visited this cave, approaching it from the ice on the river. 
We walked in, upon the ice, about twenty feet; then climbed 
a rather dangerous precipice, some thirty feet high, from which 
point one may wind around and upwards, and emerge at the 
top of the bank ; but we chose to take our back track rather 
than climb higher. In the spring, when the river is high, we 
understand the water rushes through the Dells with great force ; 
and as the river is quite crooked, raftsmen find it very exciting, 
as well as rather dangerous passing through. Persons from 
the vicinity frequently resort there during the rafting seasons 
to see the rafts pass through^ and we have been informed that 
sometimes as many as a hundred rafts pass there in a single 
day. It is thought that when the dam at this place shall be 
completed, the water will set back so as to considerably check 
the force of the current at the Dells, and render rafting through 
them comparatively safa 


1867] Black Hawk War 299 

In the spring, men and boys have great sport fishing there. 
Each has his spear, with a handle ten or fifteen feet long, and 
a cord attached; and, perching himself upon some projecting 
rock, fifteen, twenty or twenty-five feet above the water, he 
watches till he sees a good sized pickerel, cat-fish or sturgeon 
turn up on the water; then, quick as a hawk upon his prey, 
he darts his spear at his victim, and deliberately draws back, 
by his cord, spear, fish and all. One part of this operation is 
of vast importance to those engaged in it — that is, to make 
sure their footing, so that they shall not draw themselves in, 
instead of drawing the sturgeon out. 

A short distance from the Dells, to the north-east, is a very 
high hill, from the top of which the whole country, for twenty 
miles around, may be seen. We think when our rail-road shall 
hfi completed, that from this and perhaps some other hills in 
the region, the cars may be seen to pass for twenty-five or 
thirty, and possibly forty miles. In the vicinity of the Dells 
the gTOund is covered with winter-greens; and huckle-berries, 
walnuts, butter-nuts, olie., abound. We conclude that all these 
attractions, especially the wild romantic scenery of the Dells 
will always make them a place of resort for seekers of pleas- 
ure. — Newport Mirror. 


300 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v. 

Black Hawk's Autobiography 

Early in February^ 1855, J. B. Patterson, the editor and 
amanuensis of Black Hawk, in the preparation of the old 
Sank ChieFs narrative, published in the OquawJca Spectator, 
the following vindication of the correctness of that work — and 
whatever relates to Black Hawk, will possess an enduring 
interest to the people of Wisconsin ; and, in this instance, 
authenticates an important source of information relative to 
the Black Hawk war, with which our early Wisconsin history 
is so closely identified: 

In Governor Ford's History of Illinois occurs the following 
passage : 

"It may be well here to mention, that some historians of 
the Black Hawk war have taken much of the matter for their 
histories from a life of Black Hawk written at Eock Island 
in 1833 or 1834, purporting to have been his own statement 
written down on the spot. This work has misled many. 
Black Hawk knew but little, if anything about it. In point 
of fact it was got up from the statements of Mr. Antoine Le 
Clair and Col. Davenport, and was written by a printer, 
and was never intended for anything but a catch-penny publi- 
cation. Mr. Le Clair was a half-breed Indian interpreter, 
and Col. Davenport, an old Indian trader, whose sympathies 
were strongly enlisted in favor of the Indians, and whose 
interest it was to retain the Indians in the country for the 
purpose of trade. Hence the gross perversion of facts in that 
book, attiibuting this war to the border white people, when in 
point of fact these border white people had bought and paid 
for the land on which they lived from the Government, which 
had a title to it by three different treaties. They were quietly 

1867] Black Hawk War 301 

and peaceably living upon their lands when the Indians, 
under Black Hawk, attempted to dispossess them/' 

This extract, short as it is, contains the following "gross 
perversions of facts:'' 

First. — Black Hawk knew all about it — it was at his o^vn 
request that it was written — and is a literal translation of his 
own statements. He made it in his own justification — and as 
such it was submitted to the public. 

Second, — The position of Col. Davenport was not such as 
the historian assigns him. He was a friend of the Keokuk or 
peace party, and opposed to Black Hawk. 

Third. — Although Black Hawk was gTieved at the course 
taken by the w^hites who settled upon what he deemed his 
land, he repeatedly advised non-resistance; and did not attrib- 
ute the war to the "border white people," but to far different 
causes — treachery on the part of members of his own tribe, 
deceptive treaties, and a firm belief that Government was tres- 
passing upon his rights. 

My personal knowledge of Black Hawk warrants me in 
aserting that he was, in many respects, a nohle man. A man 
deeply imbued with a sense of ji.stice — gifted with a fine in- 
tellect — and jealous of his reputation. It was because he had 
been kindly treated by the whites, among whom he traveled 
subsequent to his overthrow, that he desired to lay before them 
the motives which actuated him to rebellion against the 
whites, in order that they might know that he thought he had 
good reasons for his course. Although as editor of the Galeni- 
an, during the Black Hawk' war, I advocated the cause of 
the white settlers and maintained their rights; when, after- 
ward, I became acquainted with the "vanquished chieftain, and 
-satisfied of the sincerity of his motives, and his desire to vin- 
dicate himself before those whom he had been represented as 
having wronged- — I w^illingly undertook the task of editing 
^^his own story," 

Several years ago, while at Springfield, at the time Governor 
Ford was preparing matter for his intended History of Illinois, 

302 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v. 

that gentleman called upon me, and spent many hours in my 
company, collecting facts relating to the Black Hawk war, 
knowing, as he did, that I was a resident of Galena at that time^ 
and cognizant of many facts which he wished to embody in 
his History. At that time he especially requested me to in- 
form him where he could procure the hook in question, having 
heard of, but never seen it. I informed him that I had but 
one copy^ "but • that he might procure one at Rock Island. 
Whether he ever did, I do not know. But I do not believe he 
ever did ; otherwise he could not have mispresented it in so no- 
torious a manner as he has done in the extract above quoted. 
To prove that he has done so, I beg the reader's attention to 
the following facts: 

On the very opening page of this book is the following cer- 
tificate, made by the TJ. S. Interpreter, Antoine Le Clair, 
with respect to the publication. Mr. Le Clair, is still living, 
near Davemport^ Iowa, and any person who is acquainted with 
his character, will exonerate him from any charge cf dis- 
honesty, let it come from whatever source it may: 

Indian Agency. Rock Island, Oct. 16, 1833. 

I do hereby certify that Ma-ka-tai-mo-he-kia-kiak, or 
Black Hawk, did call upon me, on his return to his people, 
in August last, and express a great desire to have a history of 
his life A\Titten and published, in order (as he said), ^'that the 
people of the United States, (among whom he had been traveling 
and by whom he had been treated with great respect, friendship 
and hospitality, ) might know the causes that had impelled him 
to act as he had done, and the principles by which he was gov- 
erned.'' In accordance with his request, I acted as interpreter; 
and was particularly cautious to understand distinctly the nar- 
rative of Black Hawk throughout — and have examined the 
work carefully since its completion — and have no hesitation in 
pronouncing it strictly correct, in all its particulars. 

Given under my hand, at the Sac and Fox Agency, the day 
and date above written. ' 

Antonie Le Claie, 
U. S. Interpreter for the Sacs and Foxes. 


1867] Black Hawk War 303 

Then follows an advert isment in which I made the follow- 
ing statements: 

"Several accounts of the late war having been published, in 
which he thinks justice is not done to himself or nation, he 
determined to make kno'^vn to the world the injuries, his peo- 
ple have received from the w]iites---the causes which brought 
on the war on the part of his nation, and a general history of it 
throughout the campaign. In his opinion, this is the only 
method now left him to rescue his little band — the remnant 
of those who fought bravely with him — from the effects of 
the statements that have already gone forth. 

"The editor has written this work according to the dictation 
of Black Hawk, through the United States Interpreter, at the 
Sac and Fox Agency of Rock Island. He does not, therefore, 
consider himself responsible for any of the facts, or views, con- 
tained in it — and leaves the old chief and his story "^vith the 

The charge against Col. Davenport we will dispose of by 
extracts from Black Hawk's own statements: 

"The trader (Col. Davenport) explained to me the terms 
of the treaty that had been made, and said we would be obliged 
to leave the Illinois side of the Mississippi, and advised us to 
select a good place for our village, and remove to it in the 
spring. He had great influence with the principal Fox chief, 
(his adopted brother,) and persuaded him to leave his village 
and go to the west side of the Mississippi River, and build an- 
other — which he did in the spring following." — Pp. 84 and 85. 

"We learned during the winter, that part of the lands where 
our village stood had been sold to individuals, and that the 
trader (Col. Davenport) at Rock Island, had bought the greater 
part that had been sold. The reason was now plain to me, 
why he urged us to remove. His object, wo thought, was to 
get our lands. We held several councils that winter to deter- 
mine what Ave should do, and resolved, in one of them, to re- 
turn to our village in the spring, as usual; and concluded, 
that if we were removed by force, that the trader, agent, and 
others, must be the cause; and that, if found guilty of having 

304- Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

us driven from our village, they should be killed. The trader 
stood foremost on the list. He had purchased the land on 
which my lodge stood, and that of our grave-yard also ! ISTe- 
a-pope promised to kill him, the agent, interpreter, the great 
chief at St. Louis, the war chief at Fort Armstrong, Rock Is- 
land, and Ke-o-kuk — these being the principal persons to blame 
for endeavoring to remove us.'^ — Pages 92-3. 

IS'ow, although the taunt upon honest labor — upon a calling 
honored by the title of the ^'art preservative of art" — upon an 
avocation which is instrumental in giving fame to the author 
of that History — upon an art patronized by Benjajnin Frank- 
lin, and many equally as illustrious men as Governor Ford, 
(the taunt implied in the use of the word printer,) comes with 
ill-grace from one occupying the position he did, we will let it 
pass, and charitably hope that the Governor never saw the 
book. He may have heard it spoken of by others, and forgot- 
ten what we told him respecting it, and thus been led to make 
statements which every page of the book stamps as unfair, un- 
true and unjust 

It is not uncommon for great heroes to have a desire that 
their military achievements should occupy a page in the current 
history of the times: Gov. Ford's great object in preparing 
his History of Illinois" was to vindicate himseK from cen- 
sure that had been cast upon him by a portion of the press and 
the people of Hlinois, for the course he pursued with regard to 
the difficulties during the Mormon war. So with Black 
Hawk. That the brief remnant of his days might be passed 
in the satisfaction of having shown to his white brethren that 
he deemed his cause just, he gave them the history of the mo- 
tives that impelled him to take up arms against them. I make 
no apology for instituting this comparison. Black Hawk, 
although an untutored savage, was free from social vices which 
(learned from the white man) have swept so many of his race 
from the stage of action — he was just — ^he was generous — ^he 
was brave. Could Gov. Ford, with all the advantages of civ- 
ilization, have been more a man than his dusky brother. 

J. B. Patteeson. 

1867] Black Hawk War 305 

Death of Black Hawk 

Willard Barrows wrote to the Davenport Gazette, in 1859, 
the following account of the death and burial of the noted 
Indian Chief, Black Hawk: 

The varied accounts of the death and burial of Black 
Hawk are such as to induce the author to saj, that he was not 
"buried in a sitting posture in the banks of the Des Moines 
Kiver, where he could see the canoes of his tribe as they passed 
to the good hunting grounds/' as was stated in some accounts 
at the time of his death, i^'either was he buried as School- 
craft says, (Vol. 6, History of the Indian Tribes, p. 454,) "with 
all the rights of sepulture which are only bestowed upon their 
most distinguished men,'' and that "'they buried him in his war 
dress in a sitting posture on an eminence, and covered him 
with a moimd of earth." He sickened and died near lowaville, 
the site of his old tovm, on the Des ^.loines River, in Wapello 
county, in this State, on the 3d day of October, 1838, and was 
buried hard by, like Wapello, another chief of his tribe, after 
the fashion of the whites. His grave was some 40 rods 
from the river, at the upper end of the little prairie bottom 
where he lived. While performing the public surveys of this 
district in 1843, one of my section lines ran. directly across the 
remains of the old ^vig^vam in which this great warrior closed 
his earthly career, which I marked upon my map, and from his 
grave took bearings to suitable land marks; recorded them in 
my regular field notes, and transmitted them to the Surveyor 
General. Black Hawk's war club was then standing at the 
head of his grave, having often been renewed with paint and 
wampum, after the fashion of his tribe. At a later period it 

is said that a certain Dr. , of Warsaw, HI., disinterred 

the body and took the bones to Warsaw. Gov. Chambers learn- 
ing this, required their return to him, when they were placed 
in the hall of the Historical Society at Burlington, and finally 
consumed with the rest of the Society's valuable collection. 

3o6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [toi.t. 

Winnebagoes and the Black 
Hawk War 

The following article, from the Washington Constitution, of 
April 17, 1859, contains some interesting facts, worthy of 
preservation, relative to the part acted by the Winnebagoes in 
opposing Black Hawk and his followers during the border 
hostilities of 1832: 

The Winnebagoes consist of about 2,000 men, women and 
children, of whom very favorable accounts have usually been 
received for several years past. In the last annual report of 
the agent, Mr. Charles E. Mix, they are described as "uni- 
formly peaceable and inoffensive." But two or three instances 
of dnmkenness had of late been known among them; and in 
these — ^whatever may be thought of such rules in more en- 
lightened communities — the white venders of the "fire-drink" 
were promptly and justly punished by the imposition of heavy 
fines. The agent states further, that these Indians have ap- 
plied themselves with earnestness to the pursuits of agriculture, 
the necessity of which they have been made to feel most keenly 
by the almost total disappearance of the bufialo and other 
profitable game from their prairies and forests. Model farms 
have been established by the agency; farming implements 
have been provided for the Indians; manual-labor schools are 
conducted for the benefit of their children; and in every re- 
spect the true welfare of the tribe is sought to be promoted by 
the United States Government, and not without gratifying 
evidences of success. 

The delegation of that tribe who have just visited Washing- 
ton, endeavored to establish the claims of a number of their 
warriors to bounty land for military services rendered to our 
Government. These claims have been presented heretofore; 
but the absence of the company rolls, and all other recorded 
evidence, have presented obstacles apparently insurmountable. 
Conscious of their right, however, these men persist in their 

1867] Black Hawk War 307 

demands, and appear determined to rest them on the equity of 
their cause. On the 2d inst. they held a highly interesting 
"talk'' upon the subject with Charles E. Mix, Esq., Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs, at the Department of the Interior, 
Gen. Lowry acting as Interpreter, assisted by Peter Menaige. 

Wah-con De-cor-ah, the chief, and ancient orator of the 
tribe, aged about 84 years, said the story he was about to tell 
would be partly about himself; but he would try and not be 
too fond of it, nor make it too long. When he was a young 
man his village was near to Prairie Du Chien, and the white 
men came and built a village near. They were quiet in their 
villages, when the news came that the Sacs and the Eoxes 
were at war with the whites — that a battle had been fought 
and a great many killed; and soon they heard that another 
battle had been fought and a great many whites had been 
killed. He had no friendship for the Red Men who had done 
these things, for he was then mourning for a member of his 
family whom they had slain. The agent and one of the white 
soldier-fathers then talked to him about these troubles. He had 
white blood in his veins, and listened with pleasure. The sol- 
dier father gave him a flag of the United States, and a military 
dress, and told him the words of the Great Father at Wash- 
ington, who wished him and his people to dig up the toma- 
hawk, and use it against the Sacs, side by side with the white 
soldiers. He went from that council to his village, called his 
young men around him, and started on the trail of the enemy. 
When he had got near to where Governor Dodge was, he en- 
camped, and sent word to the Governor, who soon came with 
forty soldiers, and placed them among the Indians. With 
these they overtook their enemies and fought them, but lost 
twelve men in the battle. The Winnebagoes followed Gov. 
Dodge on the trail until the battle of Bad Axe, when they were 
in the thickest of the fight. Afterwards Gov. Dodge sent 
word that he had whipped the Sacs and Foxes, and vnshed the 
Winnebagoes to whip all who should attempt to cross the river ; 
which they did, killing many of them. The Winnebagoes 
were all summer on the war trail. Their crops were neglected, 

3o8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.t 

and they suffered much. The Sacs wasted the crops as they 
retreated over the fields, and this made the Winnebagoes fight 
the harder for their Great Father. They delivered to Gen. 
Atkinson and Gov. Dodge more prisoners than these officers 
could take care of, and they were therefore sent to Eock Island. 

The Winnebagoes were then told by Gov. Dod^e that their 
Great Father wanted the big warriors taken — such men as 
Black Hawk and the Prophet — and they soon heard that 
Black Hawk and his men were on Keesick River, near Fort 
Winnebago. The Prophet was taken by the whites; but 
Black Hawk was taken by the Winnebagoes. Z^ee-no-hum- 
pee-kan was the man who did it. The war was then over; 
their crops had all been destroyed; and so they went back to 
the Fort, and received fiour and other things to live upon. 

When the Winnebagoes were going down with their prison- 
ers, they met Gov. Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 
at St. Louis, who accompanied them to Pock Island, saying 
that he was much pleased at what they had done, and that 
they would be rewarded by their Great Father. They also 
saw General Scott at Rock Island. He drew his sword and 
put it back into its scabbard, saying he had no use for it; his 
red brethren had made it of no use. He said their Great 
Father had heard of what had been done — '^had heard of mef' 
said the old chief; and Gen. Scott thanked the Winnebagoes 
in Gov. Dodge's name for the help they had given in the war. 
He said our Great Father always gave money and land to his 
own soldiers, and he would tell him of the services of the 
Winnebagoes, and he would then treat them in the same way; 
and the Winnebagoes have always believed this. Their Great 
Father after whipping the Sacs and Foxes, made peace with 
them ; but there was no peace made between them and the. Sacs 
and Foxes. The Sacs hated the Winnebagoes for helping their 
Great Father, and when peace was made with the whites, they 
struck at the Winnebagoes, first at the family of the speaker. 
When he was away from home, they stole upon his lodge, and 
killed his wife and children! For ten years the Sacs and 
Foxes struck at the Winnebagoes with their war parties, and 

1867] Black Hawk War 309 

at Eed Cedars thej killed men, women and children, and de- 
stroyed all they could. This all came because the Winneba- 
goes had listened to the words of their Great Father, but the 
old chief thought the Commissioner must have something 
about these things in the papers of his office. He could not 
name the officer with whom he and his party had left Prairie 
Du Chien. He had between thirty and forty warriors with 
him then. His brother, who is still living, left Prairie La 
Crosse with more than sixty warriors. 

The Prophet said there were many Winnebagoes in that 
war, and that some of them have left children who are now 
poor. The old man had told the truth. The Prophet was then 
very young, but was with the old chief in that war. Other 
tribes, which he named, had done little or nothing, yet they 
had been paid. The Winnebagoes did not ask to be paid for 
all their losses and sufferings, but thought the promise made to 
them should be performed. 

The Commissioner explained that the names of the other In- 
dians in the service of the United States had been sent to the 
War Department, and that this was the reason why they had 
been rewarded ; but the old chief replied that all Gov. Dodge's 
papers had been burned up at Port Winnebago. The Winne- 
bagoes had served three months, and had received nothing ex- 
cept some captured horses Gen. Scott had turned over to them. 

Little Hill arose and declared the words spoken to be all 
true. His uncle had, in the battle of the Pad Axe, killed one 
of the Sacs, and turned his scalp over his eyes. Others now 
here could tell the names of the warriors who fought with 
Gov. Dodge. Little Hill had not reached the field until the 
battle was over; but Gov. Dodge was pleased with the bravery 
of the Winnebagoes, and thanked them. 'None of their names 
are forgotten. The man who took Black Hawk was a rela- 
tion of Little Hill, and ever since has been called Black 
Hawk. Little HilFs brother was killed in that war. The 
Winnebagoes had lost a hundred scalps in it.* 

The Commissioners finally promised to cause a search to be 
made for documentary evidence in their favor. 

♦This must be an exaggeration or an error. 

3IO Wisconsin Historical Collections [toi. v 

Sioux and the Black Hawk 

[The substance of a talk held at Prairie Du Chien, the 22d of June, 
1832, by Gen. Street, Indian Agent, with the Sioux, who turned 
back, after starting with Col. Hamilton to join the army com- 
manded by Gen. H. Atkinson. From the Illinois Galenian, of July 
11, 1832.] 

Gen". Steeet : — I wish to know why you Lave left the arm j ? 
Heretofore, under the instructions of jour Great Father the 
President, I have endeavored to keep the peace between all 
his red children. When jour friends were killed bj the Sacs 
and Foxes, I advised jou not to revenge; jour Great Father 
would see justice done. That all the Indians were alike un- 
der his protection; who, as Father of all, desired to see them 
live in peace and harmonj. The Sacs and Foxes had behaved 
bad; thej had killed several Indians of different nations; but 
the President was desirous to keep peace, and urged them to 
wait, and he would have justice done. He wished to show 
the Indians how much better and happier they would be, if 
thej would live in peace as brothers, than in a state of war, 
one revenging his friend to daj, and the other retaliating the 
next. This would be an endless war, where the nations could 
feel no securitj. Your Great Father wanted to learn jou to 
seek justice, and not revenge. When a murder was committed, 
to give up the murderer, and let him be punished as an ex- 
ample to deter other Indians from like offenses. 

Your Great Father feels towards his red children as jou 
feel towards jours. He does not want to kill, but reclaim 
them, and make them good. When thej err, and are bad, he 
chastises them; and if thej can be, he will make them good. 
But when jou revenge, the innocent are killed more f requentlj 
than the guiltj. You make no distinction between virtue 
and crime, the good and the bad. This is not right. And 


Black Hawk War 

your Father wants to save you from the horrors attending up- 
on retaliation, unite you in love, and restrain you from retal- 
iation or revenge. 

This is the reason I was directed to restrain you from war, 
that he might interpose and bring about a lasting peace be- 
tween all his red children. If this was once the case, you 
would be much happier, and in security. Isow you are in 
danger when you lie down at night, of being murdered before 
the morning, or rising to see your families butchered around 
you. As yet, the unruly and vengeful passions of the Indians 
have defeated these humane intentions from affecting the de- 
sired object, and saving the effusion of blood amongst his red 
children. Still your Great Father has forborne to use force, 
until the Sacs and Foxes have dared to kill some of his white 
children. He will now forbear no longer. He has tried to re- 
claim them, and they grow worse. He is resolved to sweep 
them from the face of the earth. They shall no longer trouble 
his children. If they cannot be made good, they must be 
killed. They are now separated from their friends and country 
and he does not intend to let one return, to trouble him again. 
And he directed me no longer to restrain you from war. And 
I said, go and be revenged of the murderers of your friends, 
if you wish it. If you desire revenge, you have permission 
to take it. I will furnish you arms, ammunition and pro- 
visions, and here is the man who is sent to conduct you to the 
enemy. Follow him, (Col. Hamilton)* and he will lead you 
to the murderers of the Winnebagoes, the Monomonees, and 
the Sioux. With one accord, you desired to go to war, and 
appeared bent on full satisfaction for your accumulated wrongs 
and injuries. You raised the war-song, and were borne on 
your way upon the bosom of the Father of waters, under the 
conduct of Colonel Hamilton. He led you into the country 
infested by the Sacs and Foxes, and when in striking distance 
of your enemy, you mangled the dead bodies of eleven Sacs 
killed by the warriors of your Great Father the day before your 
arrival, and you turned about, and came back to this place. 

*CoI. W. S. Hamilton, of Wisconsin, son of the celebrated Alexander Hamil- 

312 Wisconsin Historical Collections [v^'^ r 

You have neither seen, nor made an effort to see, the Sacs and 
Foxes. After coming 2 or 300 miles to revenge your murdered 
friends and relations, and the murderers are before you, you 
turn and come home without striking a blow. Why is this? 
To me your conduct is strange. I cannot comprehend it, and 
want you to explain the reasons that have influenced you to 
so disgraceful a course. Your own, and the reputation of your 
nation are at stake. Consider what you have done, and what 
you now ought to do, to redeem the honor of your tribe. 
Answer me truly; why have you returned? and what do you 
intend to do ? 

The Sioux chief Lark (a half Winnebago) said: 
"My Father, we had a little piece of land over there (point- 
ing west of the Mississippi) which we wanted to keep for hunt- 
ing; but you gave us a great deal of trouble about it. We, 
live by our Father there, (pointing to Mr. Eolette, the trader,) 
and he told us he wanted rats, and not scalps.* The Sacs and 
Foxes would not let us hunt on this land, and killed our people. 
You told us to let them alone, and leave it to our Great Father, 
and he would settle the quarrel. We wanted to go to war, but 
you would not let us. And now the land is not ours, and 
what did we get for it ? 

The Sacs and Foxes have now begun to kill white people, 
and you say, go to war, and take your revenge. We came to 
do so, and you sent us with a little man (Col. Hamilton) and 
said he will conduct you to a great Chief, who has many men, 
and some on horses; he will shew you the Sacs and Foxes. 
We followed him a great way over large wagon roads that 
were very hard, and our moccasins are worn out, and our feet 
sore; we can walk no further. Yet we have seen but very few 
men and horses. The people were not there. We saw deso- 
lated houses, and some places where houses had been burned, 
and white people killed and left, but no large body of people 
to help us fight. We were led to a fort, (Fort Hamilton) 
where there were not many people, and we had starved until we 
were tired — we did not want to go any further. We have seen 

• Probably meaning muskrat and other skins. 

1867] Black Hawk War 313 

no large army as you said we would. The man (Col. Hamil- 
ton) whom you sent with us did not use us well, and we turned 
and came back to you. 

Pather ! — ^We saw a man with much beard, (General Dodge) 
who had killed eleven Sacs — he is a brave man, and there are 
brave men along with him; but they are very few. The Sacs 
and Foxes have killed a great many white men, and are still 
killing them. More than a hundred have been killed already. 

Gek". Street : — You have not answered the principal inquiry 
I made of you. What brought you back, and do you mean 
to return? If you are tired, some can ride, as these white 
men (Capts. Estes and Jones) are going to take horses for 
Gen. Dodge. He will shew you the large army I told you was 
on Rock river. You did not go far enough to see it. The white 
people that have been killed are less than your fears suggest. 

It was not that your Great Father wanted help from you, 
that I told you to go to war. It was to give you an opportu- 
nity to revenge your slaughtered friends. Your Father has 
penned those Indians up, and he means to kill them all; and 
had you remained, you would have seen how his white children 
rush upon, and kill their enemies. He does not ask you to 
help him; but if you want revenge, go and take it. This is 
what I said to you. And I now repeat it — if you want to kill 
the murderers of your friends and families, go now and do it ; 
for your Great Father has devoted these Indians to death. 
He cannot reclaim, and he will kill them. 

What I said, was to explain to you how you came to go 
down, and remind you of your great anxiety to go against the 
Sacs and Foxes. I do not mean to take any notice of any 
part of what you have said, except what relates to this busi- 
ness. I want a direct answer. What brought you back, and 
what do you intend to do ? 

Lark: — Our feet are sore and our moccasins worn out; we 
want to see our families. We have come thus far, and I think 
shall continue on home. Six of our people have remained 
with the little man (Col. Hamilton) ; some went by Galena 
for our canoes; three of those who went to Galena have just 

314 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

arrived. They say the white people will not let them have the 
canoes, and have detained the rest of the Indians. 

Father! — We want you to write to the white people, to let 
our friends come back and give us our canoes. 

Gen. Street: — When I first sent to you, I thought you 
were men, and wanted to revenge your murdered friends. You 
had complained of the Sacs and Foxes murdering your friends, 
and being prevented by me from retaliating ; and I was willing 
to give you an opportunity to take your revenge. I gave you 
liberty to go, and shewed you a man to conduct you. I put 
arms in your hands, and gave you provisions and ammimition, 
and you have gone within striking distance, and come back, 
and say you are on your way home. 

Your story is not true. These gentlemen, who sit by me, 
are some of Gen. Dodge's men ; they were at the place when 
you arrived, and came down since you left. You were kindly 
treated and provisions were plenty and were issued to you free- 
ly. They also add that you said you came to get new moccasins, 
and would return in a few days. Your complaints are untrue ; 
they are made to excuse your coming. You have not hearts 
to look at the Indians who murdered your friends and families. 
Go home to your squaws, and hoe corn — you are not fit to go 
to war. You have not courage to revenge your wrongs. 

Yesterday one of you gave me his left hand and said, "my 
other hand is stained with the blood of the Sacs and Foxes.^' 
It was untrue ; yours was a bloodless campaign. Some of 
you may have mangled the dead bodies of Sacs killed by Gen. 
Dodge and the brave men with him, (who know how to kill 
Indians,) the day before you reached the army. You have not 
seen, or endeavored to see, a live Sac or Fox. 

Your Great Father gives you some flour and pork to eat — 
you have no stomachs for war. Go home to your squaws, and 
hoe com, and never again trouble your Great Father with your 
anxiety to go to war. Take your canoes and clear yourselves. 

Note.— In justice to Mr, Rolette, the trader alluded to by the Indians, he im- 
mediately explained to me, that he did u?e such language to the Indians; but it 
was several months previous, when he knew I was endeavoring to prevent the 
Indians from going to war. J, M. S. 


Black Hawk War 


Personal Narratives of Black 
Hawk War 

By Col. Joseph Dickson* 

My parents were natives of Pennsylvania, and emigrated 
to, and settled in St. Clair county, Illinois, in the year 1802, 
where I was bom, January 28th, 1805. That county was 
then a frontier region, and but sparsely inhabited, except a 
small district of country on the American Bottom, settled 
mostly by French people. 

In the year 1818 my father and family moved to within nine 
miles of where Springfield, the present capital of the State 
was afterwards located, where I assisted my father in building 
the first white man's log cabin in Sangamon county, where I 
remained until the spring of 1827, when I emigrated, with 
many other young adventurers to what was then called the 
Fevre River Lead Mines, making the journey from Keokuk, 
on the Lower Mississippi Rapids, on foot through an entirely 
uninhabited wilderness, packing my provisions and blankets, 
in the month of March. I spent the first summer in mining, 
until the 15th of August, when I commenced improving a 
farm one and a half miles south of where Platteville is now sit- 
uated. The next spring I plowed up twenty acres of prairie 
land, and planted and raised a crop of com that season, which 
I think was the first field of corn raised in what is now Grant 
county. I continued to carry on farming until the spring of 
1832, when I exchanged it for mining. 

The Black Hawk war commenced in the month of May, 
when on the first intelligence of hostilities by the Indians, I 
joined a mounted company of volunteers raised at Platteville. 
At the organization, I was elected Orderly Sergeant in John H. 
Rountree's company ; and in that capacity I served one month, 
when, in consequence of the absence of the Captain, I was 

1 Of Grant County. 

3i6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

chosen to command the company, and thus served about one 
month. Then, by the order of Colonel Dodge, I took com- 
mand of a spy company, and continued in that capacity, in 
front of the army, during the chases to Rock River, Fort Win- 
nebago, and to the Wisconsin Heights ; and at the latter place 
I, with my spy company, commenced the attack on a band of 
Indians who were kept in the rear of the retreating Indian 
army, and chased them to the main body of Indians, when we 
were fired at several times, but without injury, and I returned 
to the advancing army without loss or injury to my command. 

After the battle of the Wisconsin Heights, and the army 
was supplied with provisions, we again pursued the Indian 
trail, and I took the lead with my company and followed to the 
Bad Axe River, by command of Gen. Atkinson. At the 
Bad Axe, I discovered, the evening before the battle, the trail 
of Black Hawk with a party of about forty Indians, who 
had left the main trail, and gone up the river; which fact I 
reported to the commanding General. On the next morning, 
my company encountered and engaged a company of Indians 
at a place near to where I had the evening before discovered 
the trail of Black Hawk and his party. During the battle 
that ensued, my command killed fourteen Indians, and after 
a short time, say an hour's engagement. General Dodge with 
his force, and General Atkinson with his regular army, 
arrived at the place where I had engaged this party consist- 
ing of about forty Indians; and about the time of their 
arrival, we had killed and dispersed the whole party. The 
main body of the enemy had gone down the river, after they 
had entered on the River Bottom. I pursued with my com- 
mand, passing General Henry's brigade formed on the 
Mississippi Bottom; I crossed the Slough, and engaged a 
squad of Indians, who were making preparations to cross the 
River; after which we were fired upon, and returned the fire 
of several bands of squads of Indians, before the army arrived. 
I and several of my men were wounded before the other 
troops came up. 

After the battle was over, I was taken with others on boarJ 


Black Hawk War 


of a steamer, which came along soon after, to Prairie Du Chien, 
where I was properly cared for, and my wounds received suit- 
able attention. Since which, I have spent a short period in 
Illinois, and the balance of the time to the present I have de- 
voted myself to agricultural pursuits on my farm, four miles 

south-west of Platteville. 
Gbant County, 1855. 

By W. Davidson^ 

In the spring of 1828, I arrived at Galena, situated on what 
was then called Fevre river — the Indian name of which was 
then said to be Ope-a Se-pee. At that time Galena was sub- 
merged by the river, and presented rather a dull prospect ; but 
thinking of an old adage, ^'keep a stiff lip and a light toe nail, 
and you may come out yet;" and so I have — at the middle of 
the horn. I then became acquainted with a few men in Galena, 
who afterwards proved to be friends indeed. After looking 
round a few days and making many enquiries, Yankee-like 
I commenced digging at Scrabble — since called Hazel Green. 
I started a prospect hole, expecting to find a mineral lode in 
a few days; but I found out that success was not so much in 
hard labor, as in good luck; and being a stranger, if I discov- 
ered a lode, the country was then staked off in what was 
called mineral lots, agreeable to the mining regulations, I 
would either have to fight my way through fifty claimants, or 
be swindled out of my prospect. 

After a few months labor in that way, and finding nothing, 
I started to view what was then called Sugar Creek Diggings. 
T. D. Potts had then made what was considered a valuable 
discovery; but I thought differently, and so it turned out. 
The first night on our journey, we reached Col. W. S. Hamil- 
ton's Diggings; he had made a valuable discovery; it is now 
Wiota — so named by the Colonel himself. We then started 
for the Blue Mounds, and spent the night with Col. E. Brig- 
ham; he had made what was then considered, as it has since 

^ Of Grant County. 

3i8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

proved to be, a valuable discovery. He treated us very kind- 
Iv, and told us ^^our hats were chalked." We then went to 
what was called the Cole, Downing and Dudley Diggings, 
then supposed to be proven for four million pounds of 
mineral, but they did not turn off more than half that amount. 
Mineral was then low in price. We then went to John Messer- 
smith's Diggings ; his prospect was fine. We got there the best 
dinner I had met with in the country. At that time, owing to 
the low price of mineral, and living some distance from mar- 
ket, and having a large family to provide for, Mr. Messer- 
smith was only able to secure a comfortable support for his 
family. Times have since changed, the old man and his boys 
persevered, and have been well repaid for their enterprise. 
We next went on to the Dodgeville Diggings, and there found a 
town, as it was then called, with five or six cabins, and in three 
of them "rot gut" whisky and poor tobacco were sold; since 
then quite a village has grovm into existence there. 

We then journied to what is called Mineral Point, which 
then went by the name of Little Shake Eag. After looking 
round the various diggings, I returned to Scrabble, and moved 
my provisions, tools and furniuire, consisting of blankets, 
spider, frying pan, &e., into the neighborhood of Little Shake 
Eag. I found that neighborhood staked off; and after spend- 
ing three weeks or a month, and not getting permission to dig 
where I wished, I pulled up stakes and moved off. My nexc 
mining was in the neighborhood of the old Buck Imd,, near 
Galena ; but meeting with the same luck as formerly, I moved 
into the vicinity of the Finney patch, which was discovered in 
the fall of 1828 by men of the name of Clark, who sold to 
Finney four-fifths, and to one Williams the other fifth. 
Finney afterwards swindled the men out of some two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars he was to have paid them in July, 1830. 
I struck a vein of mineral that yielded ninety-seven thousand 
pounds, and paid one-third for ground rent. This was the 
custom when you dug on a lot where mineral had been raised 
and sold. Part of that mineral I sold at seven dollars; the 
next spring I sold the last fifty thousand at twelve dollars per 


Black Hawk War 


thousand. The next fall we struck a vein that turned off six 
hundred thousand of mineral that brought eighteen dollars per 
thousand; and in the spring of 1839, I struck another vein, 
south of the second, that turned out four hundred and five 
thousand. The range altogether produced over two millions 
of mineral. The old Finney patch turned off two millions 
more, and good diggings there still. 

In May, 1832, I bought a horse and rigging, and rode as a 
volunteer, serving in Dodge's squadron, during the Black 
Hawk war. During that campaign I saw more of human 
nature, than I had before in several years. We had many 
difficulties to encounter, of which a majority of the present 
population can form but a faint conception. But to return to 
my occupation: I have done what no other man has done in 
these mines — I have worked on one mineral lot for seventeen 
years, and worked in the ground all that time; blasting 
occasionally, winter and summer, and never used an air 
pipe. I have been well paid for my labor; having toiled late 
and early — no eight hours have answered me for a day's work. 
After the sales of the reserved land, I moved to my present 
residence to watch my timber, and dig mineral in the winter; 
and I think I have made a valuable discovery. Unless some 
unforeseen occurrence should take place, I expect to end my 
days in Wisconsin. 

I am, like friend Brigham,^ enjoying the blessing of celiba- 
cy, and expect to continue to do so; I have never asked the 
State or general Government for any office, and never asked 
the people but once for such a favor, and then my health was 
delicate. Just at the turn of life, I was afflicted with that aw- 
ful disease called the confluent Small Pox. I was known to 
be an industrious, persevering man, and therefore had but few 
friends. Every man that offered, no difference whether he 
was a dead-fall keeper, block-head, pick-pocket, or a robber of 
the penitentiary out of three years service, had friends. The 

* Col. Ebenezer Bri^ham was bora in Shrewsbury, Massachuetts, April 28, 
1789 ; came to Wisconsin in June, 1827, and became the first permanent white 
settler in what is now Dane County. lie was a member of the Territorial 
Council from 183G to 1841, aad a member of the Assembly in 1848. He died 
in Madison, Sept. 14, 1861. L. C. D. 

3 20 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

election returns of 1844 will show the result. Since that 
time, I have had solicitations from those that would like me 
to consider them mj friends to come before the people; but 
my answer has invariably been^ that I have known men to 
gain a competence by minding their own business. 

I have seen some ups and downs in this country within the 
last twenty-seven years; but I have never yet known what it 
was to want a friend in need. Some of the turns of life have 
been for the better, and some I think have resulted differently. 
I never was known to desert a friend in poverty or affliction^ 
nor crave any favors of my enemies. With the blessings of 
Providence, I hope to sustain the character of an industrious, 
persevering candidate for heaven, and I hope to be able to dig 
my own potatoes, and hoe my own cabbage, as I always have 
done, and ask no favors beyond common civility. 

Pai>o Alto, Grant Co., Aug. 31, 1855. 





Vol. V. FOR THE YEAR 1869. Paet III. 

Early History of Education in 

[Presented before the State Historical Society by Hon. W. C. Whitford, 
President of Milton College, in the Assembly Hall, Madison, Thurs- 
day evening, February 20, 1868.] 

Three distinct movements are noticed in tlie history of the 
settlement of our State, and, with each of these, independent 
and peculiar systems of education were introduced. The first 
movement is connected with the labors of the Prench mission- 
aries among the Indian tribes ; the second, with the discovery 
and the first working of the Lead Mines, and the third, with 
what is termed the "Western fever," which prevailed exten- 
sively in the Eastern States, just after the Black Hawk war. 

French Missionaries and Traders 
The French had acquired a foothold in Canada, and were 
establishing missionary stations on the St. Lawrence, along the 
Lakes, and down the Mississippi, while the English and the 
Dutch were forming their colonies on the Atlantic coast. The 
French Jesuits united the love of adventure and the desire to 
extend their national domain, with their devotion to the cross, 

3 22 Wisconsin Historical Collections [roi. v 

as they traversed broad regions, and settled among the savages 
of the country. 

Before the Pilgrim fathers had opened a college in ^ew Eng- 
land, the Jesuits had founded one at Quebec, and endowed it 
with an ample fortune. While Massachusetts was laying the 
basis of the Harvard University, and before she had adopted 
any system of public schools, Father i^icolet visited Green Bay 
in this State, observed closely the character of the inhabitants, 
and bore back to Canada and France an account of his treaty 
with four or five thousand Indians, assembled on the Fox 
River. He was followed by heroic and self-denying disciples 
of Loyola, such as Mesnard, Allouez and Marquette, who 
explored, two hundred years ago, the southern and the western 
shores of Lakes Superior and Michigan, discovered our rivers 
and called them by their euphonious Indian names. 'Next 
came adventurers and traders, with no religious zeal, but in 
quest of fame and riches ; and they by scores and by hundreds 
traveled over the State and the sections adjacent. 

At La Pointe, on Lake Superior, the cross was erected by 
Mesnard, in 1660; but a permanent missionary station was 
never formed, though Allouez labored there afterwards four 
years among the Chippewas. It became subsequently a French 
trading post. At Green Bay, Allouez opened, in 1669, his 
chapel and mission house to the natives for instruction. This 
became the most important station west of Lake Michigan — - 
being the center of all operations in this State and farther 
South. Joliet, an envoy of France, and Marquette, the 
missionary, stopped at this place, in 1673, while on their voy- 
age of discovering the Upper Mississippi. La Salle was here, 
in 1681, to traffic for some materials to aid him in descending 
the Mississippi Piver, when he connected its northern dis- 
covery with its southern by De Soto, and planted the arms of 
France at its mouth, and named the whole valley of the Mis- 
sissippi Louisiana. Here trading expeditions were sent out in 
bark canoes in every direction; and here vessels were loaded, 
over a century ago, with valuable furs for the foreign market. 
Here an influence was exerted over the tribes of the State^ 

1869] History of Education 323 

which were led to engage in the French and Indian war upon 
the English Colonies; and here resided, at the time, De Lan- 
glade, the active leader of the Indian forces which harrassed the 
British settlements and forts on the frontier, and participated in 
the battle at Braddock's defeat. Prairie Du Chien, the third 
French post, was selected as a place for trade, as early as 1730, 
by Cardinell, a hunter and trapper; and it is stated that it 
became early, also, a missionary station. 

From 1763 to 1816, the British Government held virtual 
possession of our State. On the surrender of the French 
Provinces, English troops were garrisoned at Green Bay; but 
they soon left. Afterwards a post was re-established there; 
and British soldiers were stationed, for a short time, at Prairie 
Du Chien. IS'otwithstanding the French sovereignty had been 
withdrawn from the i^orthwest, and the power of Great Britain 
ruled in its stead, the French traders and settlers resided and 
operated as usual in the State. They added to their old trad- 
ing posts, those at Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Fond 
Du Lac, Oshkosh, Portage, some new settlements near Green 
Bay, and a few smaller ones in other portions of the State. 

No French Mission Schools 

'No evidence can be . found that the Jesuits ever opened a 
mission school in Wisconsin before the American troops 
took posssession of Fort Howard, at Green Bay, in 1816; nei- 
ther did the French traders and settlers seek to enjoy within 
our limits the advantages of any organized school. Although 
the mission on Fox Biver occupies so important a position in 
the first annals of the coimtry, and it was in constant connec- 
tion with the most powerful tribes, and possessed a chapel and 
dwelling house, it was far behind Kaskaskia, the earliest Eu- 
ropean settlement in Illinois, and the center of the French 
efforts at colonization in that region; and, also, behind Macki- 
naw, at the entrance to Lake Michigan. In both places, what 
were termed colleges, were maintained a few years for the in- 
struction of Indian converts. It is believed that religious 
teaching was furnished at our stations to the extent of cate- 

324 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.r 

chising the proselytes, having them leam to sing canticles, and 
enjoy the imposing ceremonies of the Catholic Church. 

Few First Settlers Lducated 

Some of the French settlers were men of fair culture; and 
up to the year 1827, a few of the most intelligent and wealthy 
families sent their children to Quebec, Montreal, Detroit and 
St. Louis, to acquire an English and French education. It is 
related that the pure Parisian French was spoken by the best 
informed. Augustin De Langlade, and his son Charles, 
to whom reference has already been made, formed, in 1T45, 
the first permanent settlement in the State at Green Bay. The 
father was educated in France, and the son by the mission- 
aries at Mackinaw. A member of Charles De Langlade's 
family, and one from the Grignon family were sent to the 
Seminary at Montreal. James Porlier became a resident at 
-Green Bay, after he had been trained for the priesthood — a 
position he never filled. Judge Eeaume, an eccentric person, 
of the same place, learned to read and write in Canada, before 
he emigrated. A Mr. Caddott early founded a settlement at 
La Pointe, and educated his sons at Montreal. At Prairie 
Du Chien there resided between 1780 and 1820, i^icholas 
Boilvin and Joseph Rolette, who became justices of the 
Court, and had been educated, the former for business, and the 
latter for the Catholic church ; and there resided also, Mich- 
ael Brisbois, Francis Bouthillier, and Jean Baptiste Far- 
ribault, all of whom had probably received some educa- 
tion. What schools they attended, has not been ascertained; 
but it is believed that they were educated somewhere in 

First Schools in Families 

In a few cases it «eems that private instruction was given in 
the families of the French settlers. The first instance we have 
learned, and in fact the first school of any kind held in the 
State in all probability, was connected with the family of 
Pierre Grig-non, who married a daughter of Charles De 


History of Education 


Langlade, and lived at Green Bay. This was in 1791; and 
the children of Mr. Grignon, both sons and daughters, were 
taught the simple elements. Their teacher was James Por- 
lier, whose namq.has already been mentioned, and who must 
be regarded, as far as we can gain any information, as the first 
fichool-master in the State. He did not give his entire atten- 
tion to this business, for he was engaged in what was consid- 
ered a more important and dignified occupation, that of clerk- 
ing in his employer's store. The son of an enterprising busi- 
ness man, Porlier had received a good education in the Sem- 
inary at Montreal, which was designed to prepare young men 
for the Catholic priesthood, and emigrated to Green Bay, the 
same year he taught. He was of medium size, light complex- 
ion, a little bald, very mild, and invariably pleasant to all. 
He became a most useful man, was highly esteemed, and filled 
during the forty-eight years he resided in the State, the ofiices 
of Captain of the Militia, County Commissioner, Chief Justice 
of Brown county, and Judge of Probate. 

In 182-1, Joseph Kolette, a merchant at Prairie Du Chien, 
engaged a man by the name of Curtis,* a cashiered captain 
in the army, to take charge of a whisky distillery, which he 
thought of erecting; but the work on the building being de^ 
layed, and Mr. Curtis being therefore idle, Mr. Rolette kept 
him in the meantime employed as a teacher in his family, — 
a kind of business which, it is said, he was very well qualified 
to perform. In all probability other schools were formed ear- 
lier in some families at this place. A young lady. Miss Craw- 
ford, who was raised at Prairie Du Chien, obtained at home 
ai good, common education, and learned to speak English and 
French fluently. She assisted Mrs. J. H. Lockwood, in 1825, 
in teaching at her place the first Sunday-school in the State. 

The descendants of some of the most intelligent French 
traders are now among our most respectable citizens; but a 
large majority of those living here before the advent of the 

•Daniel Curtla entered the army, from Michigan Territory, as an ensi.c^n. in 
January, 1812, and promoted to Second Lieutenant in December foliowing, and 
to • First Lieutenant in April, 1814, Adjutant of his regiment the same year. 
Captain in 1820. and dismissed from the Service in January, 1823. He must 
have served creditably during the war of 1812-'15, to have merited his suc- 
ceesive promotions. L. C. D. 

326 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol >- 

American population, were ignorant, opposed to the customs 
of civilization, indolent, readily associated with the Indians, 
and looked with positive suspicion and hatred upon the ener- 
getic and educated pioneers from the Eastern States, and all 
the institutions they introduced. We might give incidentvS, 
showing how they persistently annoyed the earliest school 
teachers, and the founders of the first schools in the State. 

Schools Among Indians 

We have already spoken of the early efforts of the French 
missionaries to maintain schools at Mackinaw and Kaskaskia 
for the instruction of the natives. ITever have any class of 
laborers shown more humane, unselfish, and unflagging zeal 
to elevate and christianize the Indian race. The fur traders 
and their attaches partook, in some measure, of the same 
interest. On the contrary, the British Government, which held 
a sort of military sway in the State for over fifty years, made 
no exertion to civilize the Indians, but bent its energies to 
keep them in ignorance and barbarism and to thwart the 
influence of the missionaries, so that its fur trade com- 
panies might carry on a more luc:^ative traffic. The effect of 
the toil and the treatment by the Jesuits, of their language 
and their manners, is seen among these children of the forest 
after the lapse of two hundred years. French words with 
the pure accent are often heard in the lowliest wigwam; the 
courtly style of the refined missionary and of the polished trader 
has been rudely imitated in many a chieftain's council; and 
an unalterable attachment for their benefactors is felt in nearly 
every tribe which formerly dwelt within our borders. ISTever 
have any people had better opportunities for improving and 
saving them, if their utter destruction did not seem to be 

The schools in Illinois, at the Straits of Mackinaw, and on 
the St Lawrence, established between 1637 and 1721, were 
admirably adapted to the traits of the Indian converts. Their 
minds were captivated by the ceremonies of their religious 
festivals and almost daily mass. Supported largely by contri- 


History of Education 


butions from abroad, there was scarcely any need, on their 
part, of toiling for their subsistence. In Canada they dwelt in 
a village of barli cabins; and in Illinois, in houses whose 
walls were a rude frame worl:^ with the spaces between the 
posts and the studs filled with clay, both far better than their 
skin-covered huts. The boys were taught to read, write, chant, 
and work slightly at some trade; and the girls, in addition to 
reading and writing, learned to sew, knit and embroider. But 
these schools, on which so many hopes rested, gave no signs 
of success. Like them, the missionary efforts failed in the civ- 
ilization of the barbarous tribes. Among the native Indians 
of our State, some of whose young people attended in ail 
probability one or two of these schools, there is not found to- 
day in any dialect the single trace of a grammar, vocabulary, 
catechism or prayer book. 

After our own Government had assumed the control of this 
section of the West, exertions were renewed by various reli- 
gious bodies to educate and christianize the Indian population. 
In the employ of the Episcopal Missionary Society of this 
country, Rev. Eleazer Williams, who became afterwards 
somewhat famous as the pretended Dauphin of France, con- 
ceived the idea, in 1820, of colonizing at Green Bay the Six 
Nations of I:^ew York. In 1823, he started, in connection 
with the mission among the Indians, a school of fifty white and 
half-breed children, on the west side of Fox River, opposite 
Shanty Town. It was for several years under the charge of 
Hon. A. G. Ellis, now of Stevens' Point. In 1827, the Mis- 
sionary Society detennined to erect extensive buildings for a 
boarding school, in which they might educate ^ ^children of full 
or mixed Indian blood." Eev. Richard F. Cadle was selected 
to conduct the enterprise. He was a man of energy, cul- 
ture, and christian worth; and he labored devotedly as a mis- 
sionary and teacher at Green Bay and in its vicinity for five 
years, and became afterwards chaplain at Fort Howard, at that 
place, and at Fort Crawford, at Prairie Du Chien. The build- 
ings which were erected for the school, were situated on a high 
plateau, overlooking the beautiful Fox River, and cost $9,000. 

328 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

The principal edifice was 30 bj 90 feet, and two stories high. 
Two "s\ings were attached, one 20 Ly 30 feet; the other 20 by 
80 feet. At first the school seemed decidedly successful. If. 
was attended, in 1831, by 129 children, from ten different 
tribes. They were received betsveen the ages of 4 and 14, and 
were taught habits of industry, a good English education, and 
tlie elements of the Christian ReKgion. Some of the time 
Beven teachers were employed. Though large amounts of 
money were expended in sustaining the school, it gi*adually 
diminished in size, and in 1839, it closed its operations with 
only 36 pupils. Col. Whittlesey, who visited it in 1832, 
says, "the mission was very ably conducted; and in the ex- 
amination of the school, thougH it exhibited the highest proofs 
of the perseverance and the Benevolence of its conductors, 
there was left no room to doubt the entire failure of a school 
so dear to American philanthropists." 

An incident is connected with the history of the school, 
which shows the native aversion of the Indian to culture and 
civilized life. In the time of the Black Hawk war, a party of 
the citizens of Green Bay and the Monomonee tribe, while out 
on a trip in search of the hostile Sauks and Foxes, in the cen- 
ter of the State, captured a small Indian girl; and taking her 
to Green Bay, they placed her in the mission school, where she 
remained about a year. She would not learn, and ate but 
little; and becoming feeble and emaciated, they had to re- 
move her from the school, and send her back to her people, to 
save her life. 

i^ear Green Bay, there was also opened a Catholic mission 
school in 1830, by Eev. Samuel Mazzuchelli, an Italian 
priest He was zealous, well educated, and talented, and had 
the care of the school for four years. The mission was aided 
by the Government, and out of the annuities of the Monomo- 
nee Indians. 

In a treaty with the Winnebagoes in 1832, our Government 
agreed to maintain, for twenty-seven years, a school at or near 
Prairie Du Chien, for the education and the support of such 
Winnebago children as should be sent voluntarily to it, and to 

1869] History of Education 329 

be conducted by two or more teachers, at an annual cost not 
to exceed three thousand dollars. The school was started on 
the Yellow River, in Iowa, and kept there for nearly two years. 
It was afterwards moved to the Turkey River, in the same 
State, where suitable buildings were erected, and Rev. David 
Lowry, of the Cumberland Presbyterian. Church, took charge 
of the school. It was not very successful, though Mr. Lowry, 
an enterprising and accomplished man, remained among the 
Winnebagoes as their agent until 1848. Evidence from every 
source, shows that the schools in this State, for the education 
of Indian children, or adults converted to the Christian faitK, 
have disappointed the expectations of all laborers therein, the 
patient as well as the most enthusiastic. Says Shea, a Cath- 
olic historian, '^the nineteenth century fails, as the seven- 
teenth failed, in raising up priests among the Iroquois, or the 
Algonquin,^' in the Catholic schools. 

Military Posts and their Schools 

Green Bay and Prairie Du Chien were made military posts 
in 1816, and were each occupied by American troops. In the 
same year Fort Crawford was built at Prairie Du Chien, and in 
the year following. Fort Howard, at Green Bay. Fort Winne- 
bago, 'near where Portage city now stands, was erected and 
supplied wdth a garrison in 1828. Several forts, block houses, 
and stockades were constructed subsequently to 1827, in the 
Mineral Region, for the protection of the lead miners, and dur- 
ing the Black Hawk w^ar, in 1832. These were temporarily 
occupied by American soldiers, or the militia of the Territory. 

"Settlers from the States," as they were then called, began 
to locate at Green Bay, soon after the Fort was erected there. 
"In 1820, the banks of the Fox River assumed a cheerful and 
cultivated appearance. Many new families were added to the 
old French settlements, and farms were commenced, villages 
located, and towns laid out and projected to an extent that 
gave promise of a future prosperity, which at this day has been 
verified." Green Bay had, in 1824, besides the garrison of 
United States troops, a population of whites and mixed bloods 

330 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

to the number of six hundred. In 1816^ at Prairie Du Chien, 
the second white settlement in importance, La Pointe being the 
third, there were only twenty-five or thirty houses, and these 
were occupied by French, Canadians and half-breeds. It is 
believed that no American resided there at the time. It con- 
tained, in 1830, two or three families from the Eastern States, 
among a population of some four hundred, x^ot till 1835 did 
the Americans, in any number, settle in that place. Some 
residents were found in the vicinity of Fort Winnebago, when 
the great tide of emigration from the East and the South had 
commenced, though for upwards of thirty years Canadian- 
French tradefrs, and occasionally an American, had transacted 
business in carrying goods over the portage of the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers. 

At these principal forts were conducted what were called 
"post schools." They were under the direction of the com- 
manders of the garrisons, and furnished instruction for the 
children of the officers, soldiers, and prominent citizens, living 
in the vicinity of the forts. Usually the chaplains had charge 
of the schools, though other persons were sometimes engaged. 
In 1817, a Sergeant by the name of Reeseden, a person of 
character and a good education, taught in the Fort., at Prairie 
Du Chien; and afterwards, for many years, other non-com- 
missioned officers performed the same duty, being usually de- 
tailed for that work, and receiving fifteen cents per day above 
their regular anny wages of $5.00 a month. The children 
of commissioned officers were usually sent abroad to be educa- 
ted ; those of the other officers and the common soldiers were in- 
structed at the Fort. About the year 1824, when there were 
at Green Bay only six or eight American families among the 
citizens, and the same number belonging to the officers, a com- 
mon English school was opened in connection with Fort How 
ard, and was taught by a discharged soldier, in a school hou5e 
erected just outside the walls of the garrison. The school 
is mentioned as being in operation in 1832, and was taught 
from time to time, as long as the Fort was occupied by the 
United States troops. Rev. Mr. Cadle conducted the school 


History of Education 


wlien he was chaplain of the Fort^ after 1832. In 1836, he 
moved, to Prairie Du Chien, and filled the saine position at 
Tort Cra^\Tford for five years. Major John Green, command- 
ing officer at Fort Winnebago, engaged, in 1835, Miss Eliza 
Haight^ as governess in his family ; and he allowed the children 
of other officers at the post to attend the private school; 
there were in all about a dozen pupils. In the spring of 1810, 
Hev. S'. P. Keyes became both chaplain and school master of 
the Post, and taught about twenty children, some of them 
over twelve years of age. At this place there were no other 
prominent schools, until Portage City was incorporated in 

AugTistin Grignon, a resident of the State for over seventy 
years, says, ^^they had no early schools at Green Bay 
• — ^none till after the coming of the American troops," in 
1816. The inhabitants were too fond of gayety and amuse- 
ments, and too much allied to the natives in spirit and habits, 
to originate so important an enterprise as a school. Col. Eben- 
ezer Childs, who lived at Green Bay for twenty-five years, 
states that the first school-house in the place was built soon 
after the arrival of the first steam-boat at Green Bay. So the 
erection of the first school-house in the State, was in some 
way the outgrowth of the genius and energy which have 
revolutionized the modes of land zzid water communications 
in this century, and formed in a large degree the brains and 
the muscle of Western enterprise. 

!N'early at the same time that the Episcopal mission was 
started, other schools for the accommodation of the citizens of 
Green Bay and vicinity, were opened. Hon. Henry S. Baird, 
a resident there since 1824, says, that in the year of his arrival 
a sdiool was kept in a log school-house, about two miles from 
the city, by Daniel Curtis, who has already been spoken of 
as teaching at Prairie du Chien. He continued there for two 
years, and others taught in the same house for years after he 
left. About the year 1828, a log school-house was built at 
Shanty To^vn, by subscription; and a young lady, Miss 
Caroline Russell, from the East, was engaged sls teacher by 


33 2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

the American families, five in number, living in the neighbor- 
hood. Subsequently i»Iiss Frances Sears taught in the same 
place. Both were well qualified to give instruction in reading, 
writing, arithmetic, English grammar and geogTaphy, the only 
branches introduced. An ability to teach the last tvv'o studies 
was considered a high attainment; for almost up to that time, 
the only qualifications required of a common school teacher 
were to read, write and '"'cypher to the rule of three." The 
scholars were generally young, of both sexes, and mostly 
children of American parentage. The schools were supported 
by subscription, paid by the parents of the pupils. About the 
year 1833, a school was opened in the north ward of Green 
Bay, and was kept by Mr. William White, in a frame school- 
house, erected for that purpose. In addition to the common 
rudiments, Latin and a few of the higher English branches 
were taught. In 1832, a school was established at Depere, 
8LX miles up the Fox River, and the seat of the ancient 
French mission. Miss Sears is again spoken of as teaching 
at Green Bay, in 1836, in a frame school-house, 24 by 30 
feet, and as having thirty-five pupils. A portion of the 
house, in which she taught is still standing, and is used as a 

At Prairie Du Chien, similar schools were opened. Ser- 
fCeant Keescden, who taught for a short time the post school at 
th&t place, had charge of a private school outside of the Fort 
for eight cr nine months, in 1817 ; and a genileman from Can- 
ada, by the name of Giason, taught after him in both the 
English and the French languages. Mr. Curtis, whom we 
have already mentioned, conducted a select school of 20 to 30 
scholars, and succeeded in teaching the higher branches. In 
1830 or 31, Judge Mills, of Grant county, conducted a priv- 
ate school. In 1832, a student of divinity and of the Cum- 
berland Presbyterian sect, taught there for six months. In 
1836, an infant school of 20 scholars was held by a Miss Kirby, 
from ^ew York; and a select school of thirty scholars by 
some one else. These schools seem to have been taught in 
private dwellings. Between 1840 and 1850, a private school 

1869] History of Education 333 

was taught for several years by a discharged soldier of !N'apo- 
leon's aimy, by the name of Henry Boyer. He is represented 
as teaching Trench successfully, and as conducting his school 
in an admirable manner. 

Early Schools of Lead Region 

We have already alluded to the discovery and the occu- 
pancy of the Lead District, as the second important movement 
in the settlement of the State. Some slight attempts to 
work portions of the Mines were made as early as 1822, but 
the hostility of the Indians living in that region prevented any 
further operations. They were exceedingly jealous of the 
Americans, whom they would not allow to examine their 
country. By 1827, an excitement in regard to the Mines, like 
the more recent gold fever, prevailed in certain portions of 
the States, East and South. Hundreds rushed to the district, 
which, in a short time, was computed to hold five thousand in- 
habitants. The miners came principally from the Central, 
Western and Southern States, invited and protected by the 
Government. Checked for a season by the alarm which grew 
out of what is called the ^'Winnebago War," and by the ac- 
tual hostilities of the Black Hawk contest, five years after, 
the emigrants spread rapidly over the whole section; and 
when Wisconsin was made a Territory by itself, in 1836, the 
Lead Region had a very large majority of the population. 
Prominent villages were located and built up near valu- 
able openings in the Mines, as Mineral Point, Platteville, 
Shullsburg, Dodgeville, Cassville, Gratiot^s Grove, and others. 
Several of the most useful citizens of the State arrived with 
the miners. I might mention Gov. Dodge, whose messages 
subsequently showed that he took the liveliest interest in the 
establishment of public schools; Hon. John H. Rountree, 
recently a Senator from Grant County, and who aided ma- 
terially in opening the first schools in the south-western part 
of the State, including Platteville Academy, now a State for- 
mal School; Gen. Charles Bracken, who first introduceil iu 
the Territorial Legislature a bill to create a common school 

3 34 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi v 

fund; and Col. Daniel M. Parkinson, who was cliairnian 
of the Assembly committee which made the earliest inquiries 
into the expediency of establishing a common school system in 
the State. 

At Mineral Point, in July, 1830, was built the first school 
house in the Mineral District of which we can gain any ac~ 
count It was constructed of logs, and when not occupied by 
the school, it furnished also accommodations in its single room 
for a justices' court, and for religious meetings. In August of 
the year in which it was erected, a select school was opened in 
it by Mr. Henry Boyor, who taught afterwards, as we have 
already shown, at Prairie Du Chien. He remained there three 
terms, and charged the small children two dollars and a half for 
their tuition, and the larger ones three and a half. The house 
eooii passed into the hands of the Presbyterian church, and 
another was put up in 1834, and a school was kept in it 
for a year, by the Kev. Mr. Campbell and his daughter, the 
first lady teacher of the place. In 1856 a school of fifty schol- 
ars was taught in the Methodist log meeting-house, probably 
by a !Mr. Parker and his daughter. 

The second school in the Mincx-al District was started at 
Platteville in the spring of 1834. A school house had been 
erected the year previous, west of where the village now stands. 
It was IS by 20 or 22 feet, one story, and made of hewn logs, 
well put together. The school was supported by subscription, 
had twelve or fourteen pupHs, and was taught by Samuel 
Huntington, an experienced school master. He seems to 
have been at the time an adventurer, and directed his atten- 
tion and that of his scholars in hunting for veins of lead in the 
vicinity. The school was afterwards moved into the village, 
and was taught, in 1836, by Dr. A. T. Locey, who had forty 

Though prominent men in this district engaged subsequently 
with much earnestness in developing the common school in- 
terests of the State, yet the cause of education made feeble 
progress in the beginning among the miners. Their occupa- 
tion did not tend toward building up schools; they migrated 


History of Education 335 

from place to place, as old diggings failed, or as new onea 
were thought to be more profitable, and they held no title to 
the soil. for several years. Besides, the population were largely 
from sections of our country where public schools had not 
been established, and generally they knew very little of their 
worth. Still they gradually came to feel the need of an edu- 
cation for their children; and by 1836 a few other private 
schools^ supported as those we have mentioned, were probably 

Settlers from Eastern States 

The Black Hawk war was the source of inestimable advan- 
tage to the State, in directing public attention in the East to 
large portions of our Territory, unoccupied and but slightly 
explored. The glowing accounts of the rich country, published 
in the newspapers^ and carried back by soldiers in the army 
to their friends, induced the speedy emigration to our borders 
of thousands and tens of thousands of intelligent, hardy and 
enterprising people from I^ew England and the Middle States. 
Settlements were made along the Lake shore from 1834 up to 
1837 ; and for the next four years, in the fertile Kock Kiver 
Valley, around Winnebago Lake, and in the country between 
these and the shore of Lake Michigan. The financial revul- 
sion of 1836, ruining hundreds of families, compelled them to 
seek new homes and build up new fortunes on our prairies and 
by the side of our waters. Subsequently, the tide of the in- 
coming population flowed down the Wisconsin Valley and into 
the adjacent sections north, and lastly up the Mississippi 
River, and along the many streams which empty into it on the 
East; so that by 1850, the counties in the ISTorth-westem part 
of the State were receiving their share of the settlers. 

First Schools of Eastern Settlers 

Wherever the families of the Jews anciently resided in the 
same neighborhood, they built a synagogue; and wherever 
even a less number of the Eastern emigrants settled together 
in the State, they started at once a school. They were carry- 

336 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. 7 

ing out the inspirations of their former homes, and were lay- 
ing with the eye of prophecy, the sure foundations of what 
Willliam Penn called a ''glorious country,'^ when he urged 
upon the British ministry, a century and a half ago, the ad- 
vantages of extending the boundaries of their possessions west- 
ward into the Mississippi Valley. 

In 1836, there were eight small private schools in the State, 
and two hundred and seventy-five pupils attending them, ac- 
cording to the statement of Rev. S. A. Dwinnell, of E/eeds- 
burg, an early pioneer. The population was estimated to be 
about 9,000, exclusive of the Indians. Besides the schools 
already mentioned, there were those at Kenosha, Milwaukee, 
and Sheboygan. The one at Kenosha was opened in Decem- 
ber the year previous, by Bev, Jason Lothrop, a Baptist min- 
ister, and well educated, with about thirty scholars, in a log 
Bchoolhouse. The first frame house erected soon afterwards 
in the city was occupied by a school. The first school in 
Milwaukee was taught in the winter of 1835- 36, by David 
Worthington, now a Methodist minister, in a private room on 
East Water street, one block south of Wisconsin street. In the 
fall following, the first public school was organized by law in 
the bounds of the State, and the only one under the school laws 
of the Michigan Territory as such, was conducted by a gentle- 
man by the name of West, in a framed school house, now used 
as a store, and standing in the Second Ward of the city, and 
known as Xo. 371, Third street. At Sheboygan, in the win- 
ter following, Mr. F. M. Bublee taught the first school in the 
county, in a private room, with only a few scholars. These 
schools except the one organized in Milwaukee, were supported 
by subscription. 

We might proceed in the enumeration of instances, in which 
private and public schools were started in every village, and 
on nearly every two miles square of the settled territory, un- 
til you were weary in examining the particulars. We have 
noticed those presented above, because they were put into 
operation the first of any in the State; and because they show 
by what means, and at the suggestion of what ideas, these 


History of Education 337 

foimtains of our intelligence and culture originated. By fui- 
tlier investigation jou would find that some one or two indi- 
viduals in every community, noted for their intelligence and 
public spirit, first made arrangements for gathering the child- 
ren into a school, which was held in a private dwelling, or a 
rude log school house; that they selected for a teacher some 
person with a fair common school education, who had had some 
experience in pedagogy; and that they were guided in the- 
choice of studies and text books to be introduced by what 
they had learned in connection with schools in the East, and by 
the needs of the scholars. Before any system of public schools 
was established, the teacher's salary was paid by subscription, 
which rated usually from two to three dollars a term per pupil. 
The schools were generally taught three months in the year; 
the scholars were active and intelligent, and had a special 
fondness for arithmetic. The wages paid the teachers were 
low^ and scarcely was one ever induced to remain long at his 
useful, but unhonored toil. 

System of Public Schools 

Wisconsin was attached to Michigan Territory from 1818 to 
1836; and from 1836 to 1848, it was a Territory for a short 
time in connection with Iowa, and afterwards by itself. Soon 
after the erection of its own Government, the school code of 
Michigan was adopted almost entire. Defective as it was, and 
modified in some of its provisions almost every year, it contin- 
ued in force until the State was organized in 1848. Since it 
required nearly two years after the adoption of our Constitu- 
tion, for our present system of public instruction to go into op- 
eration throughout the State, let us notice the beginning and 
the growth of this system in our legislative action from 1836 
to 1850, when the first report of the State Superintendent was 

The protection of the lands donated to Wisconsin by the 
United States Government for school purposes, and the crea- 
tion of a Common School Fund first called the attention of our 

338 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

public men to the cause of education. The first resolution on 
school matters ever introduced into our Legislative Assembly, 
was at the session at Belmont, in 1836, and referred to the re- 
port of a bill to "prohibit persons from trespassing on the 
schools lands in this Territory by cutting and destroying tim- 
ber." A memorial to Confess was adopted, requesting them 
to authorize the sale of the school section in each township, 
and appropriate the money arising toward creating a fund for 
the support of common schools. 

At the second session, ISTovember 7, 1837, a bill was passed 
to "regulate the sale of school lands, and to provide for or- 
ganizing, regulating and perfecting common schools." Like 
the statutes of Michigan, it enforced the formation of schools 
in every town. A law had been enacted in Michigan, in 1827, 
ten years before, requiring every town having over fifty fami- 
lies, to support by tax a common school; having one hundred 
families, two schools; having one hundred and fifty families, 
three schools ; and so on. If this duty was neglected, the town 
was compelled to pay a fine in proportion to the number of 
the families living in it, and this fine was distributed among 
the poor districts of the county to aid in maintaining schools. 
But in Wisconsin, it was provided that as soon as twenty elec- 
tors should reside in a surveyed township, in which was the 
school section, they should elect three Commissioners of com- 
mon schools, who should hold their office three years, apply 
the proceeds of the leases of school lands to pay the wages of 
teachers in the township, lay off districts, and call school meet- 
ings. Each district should elect three Directors to hold their 
office one year; and they should locate school houses, hire 
teachers for at least three months in the year, and levy taxes 
for the support of schools. This tax was pro rata on the at- 
tendance of the pupils; and the children of persons unable to 
pay the tax, were kept in the school by a tax on all the in- 
habitants of the district. Five Inspectors, the third set of offi- 
cers, were elected annually to examine schools aad inspect 


History of Education 339 

In 1839, this school law was revised. Every town with not 
less than ten families was required to become a school district, 
and provide a competent teacher ; and with more than ten fam- 
ilies, it was to be divided into two or more districts. The In- 
spectors should take charge of the school houses, lease and 
protect the school lands, and make returns of the number of 
scholars to the County Commissioners. Trustees in each dis- 
trict might be elected, and could perform for the district, the 
duties assigned to the Inspectors. A teacher neglecting to 
procure a certificate, could be fined fifty dollars — one half to 
go to the informer and the other half to the district in which 
he taught The rate bill system of taxation was repealed, and 
a tax for building school houses, or to support schools, not to 
exceed one-fourth of one per cent, was raised by the County 
Commissioners on the whole county. 

In 1840, a memorial to Congress was adopted, representing 
that the people were anxious to establish a common school 
system with suitable resources for its support. 

At nearly every session of the Territorial Legislature, a large 
number of local acts were passed, authorizing districts to raise 
money by tax to build school houses. This became very an- 

Important amendments were made in the school law, in 1840 
and '41, restoring the office of Town Commissioners, which had 
been dropped in the act of 1839, and assigning to them the 
duties of the Inspectors ; laying down more complete directions 
for forming school districts; making five officers in each dis- 
trict. Clerk, Collector, and three Trustees; restricting to male 
residents over twenty-one years of age the privilege of voting 
at district meetings, and requiring such voters to be free-hold- 
ers, or house holders ; changing the fine of teachers for neglect- 
ing to procure certificates from fifty dollars to forfeiture of 
a sum not exceeding their wages ; authorizing certain amounts 
of money to be raised by tax in the district for building school 
houses; and defining specifically the duties of each school oiH- 

At the session of 1846, a bill to provide for the appoint- 

340 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

ment of a Superintendent of Common Schools passed one 
branch of the Legislature, and was rejected in the other. The 
need of this officer had been felt in various places in the State, 
and petitions in favor of his appointment had been received 
at previous sessions. With all these changes the law was 
still defective in respect to the proper organization of the 
schools, and the providing of money for their support. The 
rate bill tax, or private subscription, had to be resorted to 
in many districts, to keep the schools in operation. 

It became evident by 1846, that a strenuous effort would 
be made to organize a State Government. Until this was 
effected, the fund accruing from the sale of the school lands 
could not be received from the General Government, nor the 
income of this fund be applied toward maintaining schools. 
The benefit of obtaining and using this immense fund, sup- 
plied one of the main arguments for forming a State Constitu- 
tion. Gov. Dodge urged this subject upon the attention of 
the people in his message of 1847, stating that they could then 
control the sale of the sixteenth section in each township, and 
«njoy its avails^ together with the donation of 500,000 acres of 
land by Congress, and five per cent on the net proceeds aris- 
ing from the sale of the public lands in the State. At once 
the expediency of establishing the free system of public 
instruction throughout the State, was discussed in many 
places, and by liberally minded men. 

At Kenosha, where excellent schools had been sustained, 
the matter was first considered; and the first free school ever 
established in the State, was organized here in 1845. The 
leader of this movement was Col. M. Frank, of that city, to 
whom the State, also, is more indebted than to any other citi- 
zen, for her excellent free school system. Educated in the 
central portion of Xew York State, and moving to Kenosha 
in 1837, he has labored devotedly to promote popular educa- 
tion. In February, 1845, as a member of the Territorial Leg- 
islature, he introduced a bill authorizing the legal voters within 
the corporate limits of his town to vote taxes on all the assess- 
ed property, sufficient to support schools. The bill became a 


History of Education 


lawj and by one of its provisions, it was required to be sub- 
mitted to the people before talking effect. The opposition to 
this law was very strong^ and there was evidently, at first, a 
majority against it. The idea of taxing large property hold- 
ers, who had no children to be educated, was denounced as 
arbitrary and unjust Frequent public meetings were held for 
discussion and lectures, with the view of enlightening the 
public mind on the great duty to educate at the public ex- 
pense. After several imsuccessful trials to procure the adop- 
tion of the act, it was at length accomplished by a small ma- 
jority in the fall of 1845. This transaction had its due influ- 
ence on other portions of the State. 

In the winter before the first Constitutional Convention met, 
a Common School Convention was held at Madison, on three 
successive evenings, with the design of preparing the public 
mind for the establishment of a system of free schools, similar 
to that of Massachusetts, at the earliest practicable period. It 
was largely attended by the members of the Legislature then 
in session, and Col. Frank was elected chairman. The princi- 
pal features to be adopted in the school laws of the State, were 
considered; and the deficiencies and the evils of the old law 
were pointed out. They recommended the Legislature to ap- 
point a general agent to travel through the State, lecture on 
education, collect statistics, examine the condition of schools, 
and organize Teachers' Associations. A select committee, con- 
sisting of Rev. Lewis H. Loss,* Levi Hubbell, M. Frank, 
Caleb Croswell, C. M. Baker and H. M. Billings, were 
appointed to lay the subject, discussed by the Convention, be- 
fore the Legislature. They state in their report, that ''the 
committee regard it among the highest and most important of 
the duties of Legislatures to provide, as far as may be, by suit- 
able legislation, for the education of the whole people." 

*Rev. L, H. Loss, a Congregational clergyman, -was formerly settled at York 
Mills, N. Y., and at Elyria, Ohio. He came to Wisconsin, and was for some 
considerable time Principal of Beloit Seminary ; and, in August, 1846, accepted 
a pastoral call to Rockford, 111., and subsequently to Chicago. His early edu- 
cational labors in Wisconsin deserve grateful remembrance. 

Caleb Croswell. an associate of Mr. Loss and others, in their early efforts to 
fix public attention upon the necessity of establishing a wise and liberal free 
school system for Wisconsin, was a brother of Edwin Croswell, a noted editor 
of Albany, N. Y., and was a member of the Board of Public Works of Wiscon- 
Bin In the Improvement of Fox River ; represented Sauk County in the Legisla- 
ture, In 1850; and was subsequently Consul at St. Petersburg. L. C. D. 

342 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

In the Constitutional Convention of 1846, a resolution was 
passed early in the session for a "provision to be engrafted 
into the Constitution, making it imperative on the Legislature 
to provide the necessary means, by taxation or otherwise, for 
placing a common education vrithin the reach of all chil- 
dren of the State." An article was incorporated into the Con- 
stitution, in most respect-s similar to the one included in our 
present Constitution, adopted in 1848, creating free schools. 
Considerable discussion arose in regard to establishing the 
office of State Superintendent, some favoring the old system of 
!N"ew York, in which the Secretary of Stat© performed the duties 
of this office. ^^"0 other provision awakened much interest or 
opposition in the body. The time of the Convention was taken 
up in the consideration of other exciting questions^ such as 
banks, negro suffrage, elective judiciary, the death penalty, and 
the rights of married women in respect to property. 

At an evening session of this Convention, Hon. Henry 
Barnard, now in charge of the United States Bureau of Educa- 
tion, gave an address upon the advantages of supporting our 
public schools by a tax on the property of the State, and upon 
the necessity of the office of a State Superintendent of the 

In the second Constitutional Convention, 1848, nearly the 
same general topics were under discussion; and some features 
in the article on education, included in the Constitution after- 
wards adopted, received greater attentiom We have failed to 
discover proofs of any opposition to the section which provides 
that "district schools shall be free, and without charge for 
tuition to all children between the ages of four and twenty 
years;" or to a section which requires a sum to be raised by 
tax annually for the support of common schools to the amount 
at least, of one-half the income of the School Fund. Some 
changes were made, admitting the youth over sixteen and un- 
der twenty years, dropping the provision for the maintenance 
of County Academies and County ^N'ormal Schools, and making 
the basis for the distribution of the school income the number 
of children resident in the several towns and cities, instead of 


History of Education 


the actual att<mdaiice of these children at school. The ex- 
pression "the public schools should be equally free to children 
of all religious persuasions/' was omitted, for the reason that 
there might be children not belonging to any religious persua- 
sion, who ought to be educated. The prohibition that "no 
book of religious doctrine or belief shall be permitted in any 
public school/' was abandoned, as it excluded the Bible. Town- 
ship libraries were afterwards changed to district libraries. The 
old feature of placing the care of the schools in the hands of 
Town Inspectors or Commissioners was converted into the elec- 
tion of Town Superintendents, and the five district officers be- 
came three, the Trustees being merged into one Director. 

Immediately after the adoption of the Second Constitution, 
submitted to the people, so great was the demand for radical 
changes in the school law that the State Legislature, in 1848, 
enacted laws which carried out, in a certain form, the provis- 
ions of the article in the Constitution on education. At the 
same session of the Legislature, three Commissioners, Hon. M. 
rrani:, Hon. Charles S. Jordan, and Hon. Charles M. Ba- 
ker, were appointed to collate and revise the statutes, which 
are familiarly known as those of 1849. Their labors were di- 
vided; and among other portions assigned to Col. Frank, was 
the law relating to schools. This work was carefully done; 
but several features relating to public schools were in direct 
conflict with those adopted the previous session of the Legis- 
lature. The report of the ComLmissioners was accepted, and 
when the present school law went into operation. May 1, 1849, 
there were in vogue in the State three sets of school laws — as 
that of 1839 had not been laid as,ide in all portions, and time 
had not been given to supplant that of 1848. The year of 
1849 was one of great confusion, as many provisions in all 
these laws were opposed to each other. 

One of the most remarkable events in the history of our 
State, was the adoption of the free school system by the peo- 
ple, and the readiness with which, in most sections, it was put 
into operation. The principles involved in this system had 
been violently and persistently opposed in other States. Col. 

34+ Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Frank says that "prior to the acceptance of the State Con- 
stitution, whenever in the south-eastern part of the State, the 
measure was introduced of supporting the schools by taxation 
on the assessed property of the districts it encountered the most 
determined opposition/' But when voted upon, scarcely a 
prominent voice was raised against it. It is believed that the 
question which overshadows all others in the Constitutional 
Conventions, so engaged the thoughts of the people that the 
free school provision w^as almost lost sight of in the heated 
discussion. The reason for the ready acquiesence is more ob- 
vious. The people had become somewhat accustomed to pay- 
ing taxes in the counties, to maintain schools; the income of 
the magnificent School Fund could lessen very materially the 
burdens of taxation, and the noble utterances of Gov's. 
Dodge, Doty, Tallmadge, and Dewey, in their annual mes- 
sages, in favor of the broadest education of the people, had 
prepared them to some extent to accept the measure. 

The opinion has prevailed quite generally that our school 
system was framed after that of the State of Xew York. 
This is a mistake. Our statute laws were copied, even in 
their principal headings, their arrangements, their wordings to 
a great extent, and of course their substance, from those of 
Michigan. A few minor provisions were taken from the [N'ew 
York statutes; such as those creating the office of the Town 
Superintendent, now abolished, and the district library, which 
first originated in that State. The other features differed 
widely from those of the Xew York system in very many re- 

The next year after the other State officers were elected, 
Hon. Eleazer Eoot, of Waukesha, was chosen State Super- 
intendent by the people. The manner of electing this officer 
had been determined by the Legislature of that year. He 
was nominated by the State Central Committee of both the 
Whig and Democratic parties, and elected without opposition. 
This first action was in deference, in some degree, to the sen- 
timent which prevailed then quite extensively, that the elec- 
tion of the State Superintendent should not be connected with 


History of Education 345 

;he strifes of political parties. In their circular, the Com- 
nittees state that Mr. Koot is ^^favorably knoTm as a firm 
f*iend and devoted advocate of the cause of education." From 
Hs first Report^ issued in 1850, we learn that there were esti- 
mated to be 80,445 children, between four and twenty years 
oi age, in the State, of which 46,136 were attending school; 
tmt the average wages of male teachers per month were 
$.5.22, and of female teachers $6.92; that there were 704 
s<hool-houses — 359 being constnicted of logs; and that there 
T^ere ninety-six unincorparted private schools. 

: State University 

In Gov. Dodge's message to the First Territorial Legislature, 
he recommended the propriety of asking from Congress a do- 
nation for the establishment of an institution for the educa- 
tion of the youth of the State, and to be governed by the Legis- 
lature. This was the first action looking toward the founda- 
tion of our State University. Several charters were issued by 
the Territory incorporating what was hoped would be such an 
institution. But no provisions were made for the final estab- 
lishment of the University until the State was organized, for 
the reason that the donations of land by Congress for it could 
not come into the possession of the State until it was admitted 
into the Union. This Institution was finally located at Madi- 
son; and by 1850, the Regents had been appointed, and they 
had made two reports; Prof. John H. Lathrop, President of 
the University of Missouri, had been elected Chancellor; and 
Prof. John W. Sterling, still connected with the University, 
had opened the Preparatory Department, Feb. 5th, 1849, with 
twenty young men as students, in a room in the present High 
School Building, then furnished by the city of Madison. 

Union or Graded Schools 

By 1850, there had been made in the State only one effort 
at organizing union or graded schools ; and this was at Ke- 
nosha. Superintendent Root mentioned in his report such a 

34^ Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

school as in operation at Geneva; but it had not the featurfs 
of snch a school. Preparations for establishing similar schods 
were then going on in Milwaukee, Janesville, Beloit, Gre«n 
Bay and Sheboygan. During that year, at Manitowoc, an ex- 
cellent public school, not a gTaded one, was conducted for tix 
months, by Edward Salomon, who had recently arrived in 
this country, and has since been G-ovemor. He had charge, a 
portion of the year previous, of a private school at Mequon. 

The graded ward schools of Kenosha were organized chiely 
by the exertions of Hon. J. G. McMynn, the recent State Sup 
erintendent of Public Instruction. The free school buildings 
had been erected between 1846 and 1848. In the winter of 
the latter year, Col. McMynn taught a private school in thai 
city; and in June following he took charge of the public 
school in the l^orth Ward; that of the South Ward was 
taught by Prof. Z. C. Graves, an accomplished teacher from 
Ohio, and who had labored efnciently in the first Teachers' 
Institute of that State. Both had no experience in grading 
schools, and could get access to but little information on the 
subject. There resided at the time in Kenosha, Dr. D. W. 
Carley, now of Boscobel, who had conducted a graded school 
at Palmyra, ^. Y., and who furnished some valuable instruc- 
tions. Col. McMynn says, "neither Prof. Graves nor my- 
self had ever visited a graded school; but we succeeded after 
making some mistakes in discovering a plan which others had 
known long before, and which now generally prevails." This 
school became in many respects the model after which many 
of the other graded schoob in the State were formed. 

Blind Asylum 

The first charitable State school was incorporated in 1850, 
under the name of the Wisconsin Institute for the Education 
of the Blind, and was located at Janesville. The others were 
organized in subsequent years. 

Academies and Colleges 

Thirty-six academies and colleges had been incorporated by 


History of Education 


1850; but only nine of them -^ere, at that time, surviving. 
Only five of these are now in operation. 

Platteville Academy was chartered the earliest of the insti- 
tutions now in existence. Previously, in the Beloic Serji- 
nary had obtained an act of incorporation; but a school was 
not organized under it till the fall of 1843. It was continued 
up to 1850, when the male department was merged into the Pre- 
paratory Department of the Beloit College, and the Seminary 
became the Beloit Female Seminary, under the charge of Mrs. 
S. T. Merrill; but this has ceased to exist. The Southport 
Academy, at Kenosha, was chartered a few days after the 
Platteville, in 1839. This was the out-growth of a select school 
which had been taught the previous year by Pev. ^I. P. Kin- 
ney, D. D., now residing at Pcckford, 111; and when it was 
opened, he took charge of the school in it, and continued teach- 
ing for nearly two years. Mr. Kinney must be regarded as 
the first instructor in an incorporated Academy in the State. 
Gov. L. P. Harvey was the next principal. He had been con- 
nected as tutor two years with the Woodward College, Cin- 
cinnnti, Ohio, and came to Kenosha as a stranger, seeking em- 
ployment, in 184:1. He had the supervision of the Academy 
imtil 1844, and gathered together a respectable number of 
students, though not enough to make his employment very re- 
munerative. Most of his scholars studied the common Eng- 
lish branches ; a few the elements of Latin. After he left, the 
institution went down. 

While the Platteville Academy was first chartered in 1839, 
it did not commence working imtil 1842, and then imder a 
new act of incorporation, which was obtained the same year. 

The first building was erected immediately, and was occu- 
pied by both the Congregational Church and the Academy. 
The meetings of religious societies were held in nearly all the 
first edifices erected in the State for public, private and incor- 
porated schools. The first principal at Platteville was P'^v. A. 
M. Dixon, a graduate of Illinois College, and recently a pastor 
at Trempealeau. Afterwards Rev. George P. Magoun, D. D., 
now President of Iowa College, taught here. In the fall of 

348 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. ^ 

1846, Hon. J. L. Pickard, a graduate of Bowdoin College, 
Maine, and for several years the State Superintendent of our 
State, was engaged as principal. ]\Ir. Pickard states, ''at the 
time of my going to Platteville, the public schools throughout 
the Lead Region were in a low condition; houses were poor;^ 
teachers poorly qualified as a general rule; and their wages 
very low. Female teachers received $1.00 to $1.50 per week, 
and male teachers $10.00 to $15.00 per month. Between 
1846 and 1850, considerable interest was awakened; and con- 
ventions and institutes were held at Galena, Dubuque, Hazel 
Green and Platteville. A teachers' class was organized in the 
Academy; and with better qualifications came better wages^ 
and much more interest on the part of the people. The pub- 
lic schools at Platteville were in a better condition than in any 
other part of the Lead Region." Hon. H. Robbins, now one 
of the !N^ormal School Regents, labored eflSciently both as a 
teacher and a district officer, in improving the schools of 

The Prairieville Academy, at Waukesha, was chartered in 
1841, converted into the Carroll College in 1846, but restored 
in 1849. Both these institutions owe their origin largely to 
the efforts of Gov. A. W. Randall and E. D. CUnton. Si- 
las Chapman, Esq., of Milwaukee, for many years the Secre- 
tary of the ]^<'ornial Board of Regents, entered the Academy 
as the first principal in the summer of 1841. The first build- 
ing was stone; but it not being fully completed, the first term 
■was kept in the Congregational Church. Mr. Chapman re- 
mained only. one year, as the compensation was not sufficient j 
and then he moved to Milwaukee, where he took charge of 
the "High School," an Academy, for a year. But the Acade- 
my at Waukesha was not long in operation. The charter for 
the College was obtained by Hon. E. Root, and the Freshmavi 
class was formed in 1846, under the direction of Prof. Ster- 
ling, of the State University, who continued in the College 
one year, taking the class through their studies, and receiving 
for his labors the salary of $80. This is one of the many ex- 
amples we might furnish in proof of the purely missionary 


History of Education 34.9 

zeal of the early teachers in the State. The Institution was 
for a number of years afterwards under the Presidency of Eev. 
John A. Savage, D. D., since deceased. 

The Catholic College at Sinsinawa Mound was incorporated 
in 1848, and was under the management, for many years, ol 
Pather Mazzuchelli, who formerly superintended the Cath- 
olic Mission School among the Indians at Green Bay. This 
Institution, together with the Female Academy at Benton, 
twelve miles from the Mound, were established by Father 
Mazzuchelli, from the means which were furnished him by 
a wealthy sister, in Milan, Italy. This school was converted, 
some years afterwards, into the Saint Clara Female Academy. 
Beloit College is the result of the action of the Convention 
which the Presbyterian and the Congregational churches of 
this State and iSTorthem Illinois held in 1845. In the fall of 
1847, the first class was organized, and placed temporarily 
under the instruction of Prof. S. T. Merrill, then principal 
of the Beloit Seminary. Two of its present professors, Rev. 
Joseph Emerson and J. J. Bushnell, were appointed the 
following year; and in 1849, Hev. A. L. Chapin, D. D., was 
elected President, which office he still holds. This Institution 
was in full operation by 1850. 

Lawrence University was founded in 1848, under a liberal 
donation by Hon. Amos. A. Lawrence, of Boston, Mass. It 
was placed under the patronage and control of the Methodist 
denomination. The Institution was located at Appleton, be- 
fore a single house was erected in the place; and it began 
with thirty-five students. The charter being for an Institute, 
in 1850 the school was incorporated as a College. 

Milton College was opened as a select school with acad- 
mic facilities in 1844, as the result of the enterprise of 
Hon. Joseph Goodrich, a pioneer settler at Milton. Eev. S. 
S. Bicknell, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and now liv- 
ing at Fort Atkinson, was the first most prominent teacher. 
In 1848, the Institution was incorporated as an Academy; 
and in the following year. Prof. Jonathan Allen, now Presi- 
dent of Alfred University, IST. Y., had charge of the school 

350 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. - 

The Institution worked effectually in qualifying district scbool 


It was my design, when I began the examination of this sub- 
ject, to furnish in close review the whole early education history 
of the State ; but to arrange properly, and present the materials 
which have accumulated on my hands, would, to my own sur- 
prise, occupy too much of your time, on which I fear I have 
already trespassed. I have, therefore, confined myself to the 
main outlines of the formation period in our State history. 
Other particulars of this period deserve notice, such as the 
difference between the policy of France and Great Britain on 
the one hand, and that of our own Government on the other, 
in reference to encouraging education among the settlers of this 
Western country, by the liberal donations of lands in their 
charters and grants. The influence of our School Fund upon 
the inhabitants of the Territory, might be more fully discussed. 
The efficient labors of other noble and self-sacrificing teachers, 
whose power in moulding our character and our institutions, 
descends to us like the waters of a noiseless stream, could with 
profit be mentioned. But I forbear. 

I have traced up to the organization of our State, the origin 
and progress of our schools among the Trench traders and 
pioneers; and at the American military posts established at 
their principal stations, among the hardy and stalwart miners 
in the Lead Kegion and among the industrious and intelligent 
settlers from the East — the bulk of our population. These 
three classes of people have each contributed, more or less, by 
forming prominent schools, or by introducing systems of pub- 

♦The Hon. W. C. Wliitford, the writer of this paper, has been many years 
at the head of the Institution at Milton, both in its Academic and Collegiate 
character, and has rendered the public good service as an efficient and popular 
educator. He was born in West Edmeston, Otsego county, N. Y.. May 5th, 1828, 
and fitted himself for College at Brookfield Academy and De Ruyter Institute, 
New York, and then taught one term at Milton Academy in the winter of 
1850-'51, and two years as Principal of Shiloh Academy, N. J. E-ntering the 
senior class at Union College he graduated in 1853, and then spent three years 
at the Union Theological Seminary, New York City. Returning to Milton, in 
this State, in the spring of 1856. and after serving a pastorate of two years, 
he was placed at the head of the well-known literary Institution there in 1S58, 
where he has labored with great success for ten years. His services in the 


History of Education 


lie instruction which have been tested by other States and 
found useful, towards shaping and vitalizing the great cause of 
education among us. Thus, from many sources, we derived 
the materials which our people, in forming a State, collected 
and combined into a harmonious and effective whole. In this 
they conformed to the rude but beautiful idea, which the early 
Indian tribes conceived of the work accomplished by our princi- 
pal river, from which the State is named ; for as they dwelt on 
the thousand brooks and rivulets which in the !N*orthern half of 
the State converge toward our central valley, they called the 
river flowing through it, and receiving its supplies from these 
small streams, Wisconsin, which, in the language of Chippe- 
waSj means the "gathering of waters." 

35-2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. t 

History of School Supervision 
in Wisconsin 

[Address of Rev. W. C. Whitford, President of Milton College, before 
the State Teachers' Convention at Milwaukee, July, 1868.] i 

At the request of your Executive Committee that I should 
present a paper on some theme connected with the progress of 
the schools in our State, I have ventured to write on the one 
under consideration, as furnishing facts of general interest; 
and I shall be more than pleased, if my treatment of it shall 
meet with your approbation. I do not desire to trace from 
the beginning the history of the care and control of our schools, 
for the sake of exciting the curiosity, or indulging our rever- 
ence for former ideas and institutions. Our inquiry is in re- 
gard to the origin and the effects of our school laws and usages, 
that we may better understand our present system of school 
supervision. A traveler in crossing a river, not well known 
by himselfj naturally asks, where are its sources, what is its 
length, and what are the general features of its whole course? 

The search, indeed, would be interesting if we should pass 
beyond the genesis of the schools of our State, and find the 
germs of our own educational organization and management in 

*Thl9 paper appeared in the Milwaukee News, Au^st 12, 1868, with this 
editorial commendation : "All concerned in the educational affairs of Wiscon- 
sin will be deeply interested in the Address of Rev. Mr. Whitford, of Milton 
College, delivered before the late State Convention of Teachers, and published 
In our columns to-day. The Address is a concise historical statement of the 
progress of the educational movement in our State from the earliest settlement 
of Wisconsin Territory until now, together with a brief exposition of the pre- 
Talling system of public education as established by the laws of the State." 

After a brief resume of the ante-Territorial school facilities — or, rather want 
of them — discussed more fully in the preceding paper, Mr. Whitford enters into 
* succinct history of the introduction of the free school system into Wisconsin, 
and of the principal changes that have taken place in the administration of 
the school laws of the Territory and State; and he has accomplished his pur- 
pose with an evident care, research, candor and good judgment, that merits the 
acknowledgment of the friends of educational progress in Wisconsin. L, C D. 

1869] History of Education 353 

the earliest history of some of the 'New England Colonies. 
The labor would not be fruitless, if we should mark distinctly 
the gradual gTOwth, during the two hundred years, of what is 
really the American system of schools, and notice in what 
communities, and under what variety of circumstances, it has 
attained its present form and strength. But my purpose does 
not lead me in that direction. 

As mj^ht be expected, our first schools were opened in 
private families, and the task of hiring teachers, ascertaining 
their qualifications, and supervising their schools, was per- 
formed by the heads of these families. Where society is rude 
and partly civilized, or where the people do not live compactly 
together as in our pioneer settlements, we should look to the 
most intelligent homes for the origin of our best institutions. 
Children were taught by regular instructors in some families 
of the French settlers. Pierre Grignon started a school in 
his own house at Green Bay, in 1791, engaging James Por- 
lier as teacher. Other families in this place adopted, with- 
out doubt, the same course. Similar cases occurred in the 
early history of Prairie Du Chien. In the annals of this 
French settlement, a Daniel Curtis is mentioned as teaching 
in the family of Joseph Kolette. In many of the oldest 
communities made up of the American population from the 
Eastern States, you can now find persons who received at such 
schools their first instruction in the common and higher 
branches of education. 

The next schools were established at the military posts in 
the State, which were three in number : Fort Howard, at Green 
Bay^ Fort Crawford, at Prairie Du Chien, and Fort Winne- 
bago, near Portage City. The commanders of these posts had 
the supervision of the schools. Usually they engaged the chap- 
lains appointed by the Government, to instruct the children who 
belonged to the officers and the soldiers, and sometimes to prom- 
inent citizens living in the vicinity of the forts. Rev. Richard 
F. Cadle had the charge of the post schools at Green Bay and 
Prairie Du Chien between 1832 and 1840, while acting as 
chaplain. Other individuals were occasionally employed. A 

354 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Sergeant hj the name of Keeseden taugkt in Fort Crawford 
as early as 1817, and received for his labors fifteen cents per 
day above his regular army wages of $5.00 a month. Keports 
of these schools were probably furnished the General Govern- 
ment by the commanding officers. We learn that the over- 
gight of these schools was strict, and the instruction most 

Private schools for children and young people were next 
formed. These began by several families in a place uniting 
together to maintain them by subscription or tuition fees. 
Generally some person was selected to secure a teacher and a 
room in a private house, and have some responsibility for the 
management of the school. Sometimes a dwelling was erected 
for the purpose, and some kind cf organization was effected for 
tiring and supporting the teacher. Very often both the dwell- 
ing and the organization were the results of the efforts of local 
religious societeis. Private schools were opened at Prairie Du 
Chi en as early as 1817, at Green Bay, in 1824, at Mineral 
Point, in 1830, at Platteville, in 1834, at Kenosha, in 1835, 
and at Milwaukee and Sheboygan in the winter of 1835-6. 
When Wisconsin was organized into a Territory in 1836, there 
were at least eight such schools ii. operation, and two himdred 
and seventy-five pupils attending them. Since that time, in 
nmnerous instances in those places where the school law had not 
taken effect, these schools were opened and maintained. They 
became the forerunners of our public schools, introducing 
teachers, creating an interest in education among the people, 
and laying the basis for the methods of school oversight after- 
ward adopted. 

Another class of schools was early organized in Wisconsin, 
viz: The mission schools among the Indian tribes. The 
charge of these in a single instance was in the hands of the 
Government ; the others were under the control of the religious 
societies which established and supported them. The first 
mission school began in 1823, a.t Green Bay, by the special 
efforts of Rev. Eleazer Williams, who pretended afterwards 
to be the Dauphin of France. It was under the direction of the 


History of Education 355 

Episcopal Missionary Society of this country. Hon A. G. 
Ellis, now of Stevens' Point, taught in the school for a num- 
ber of years. Rev. Richard E. Cadle, acted as Superintend- 
ent from 1827 to 1832. At one time there were in the school 
129 children of full and mixed Indian blood, representing ten 
different tribes. They were received between the ages of four 
and fourteen years, and were taught habits of industry, the 
elements of a good English education, and a knowledge of the 
Christian religion. Six teachers were sometimes employed. In 
1828 commodious buildings were erected at the cost of $9,000. 
In the branch missions, among the Oneidas, at Duck Creek, 
and the Monomonees at I^eenah, but little or nothing was ef- 
fected. This school was in operation for sixteen years, and 
influenced, in many respects, all the other educational move- 
ments in the vicinity of Green Bay. 

Before noticing other schools, more should be said in regard 
to the labors and character of Mr. Cadle. It seems he had 
the fullest confidence of the Society which endeavored to build 
up at Green Bay a large and successful mission; and he is 
mentioned by those in, the State who knew him, in terms of 
the highest esteem. Modest and well educated, he was ener- 
getic, self-denying and devoted. Opposed and persecuted in 
his missionary work, he toiled the more earnestly, and was be- 
loved by his school. After laboring among the Indians in an- 
other field, acting for several years as chaplain and schoolmas- 
ter at two of our military posts, he returned East, and died 
sometime since in the State of J^ew York. 

iTear Green Bay, a Catholic mission was formed in 1830. It 
was aided somewhat by the Government and the Monomonee 
tribe, among whom the school was maintained. It was con- 
tinued four years under the charge of Rev. Samuel ^lazzu- 
chelli, who was a Jesuit and an Italian priest, zealous and 
talented, and toiled with unremitting ardor, though with no 
great success in his position. Besides his gigantic missionary 
efforts afterward in the state of Iowa, in the vicinity of Galena, 
Blinois, and in the southwestern part of our State, he founded 
the Eemale College at Sinsinawa Mound, and the Academy at 

35 6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. t 

Benton; and bj his oversight and instruction, they became 
flourishing institutions. He died four years sine© in the 
midst of his labors, honored and revered by many friends. 

For a number of years the Government sustained a school 
among the Winnebagoes, in accordance with a treaty made with 
them in 1832, which required the school to be kept at or near 
Prairie Du Chien. It was afterwards located on the west side 
of the Mississippi river, in Iowa, and placed under the super- 
vision of Rev. David Lowry, an accomplished and enterpri&- 
ing man. 

These educational efforts aided in attracting to our Stat© 
some of our most useful citizens, and influenced in many ways 
all our earliest public and business enterprises. 

When Wisconsin was organized into a Territory, by itself in 
1836, the laws of the Michigan Territory, with which it had 
been connected for eighteen years, were, by an organic act of 
Congress, declared in full force in the Territory. The school 
laws continued as such until 183^, with some slight modifica- 
tions made by the Legislature of 1837. To no other circum- 
stance is our public school system so much indebted, as to 
this, for its peculiar provisions, and especially for its methods 
of school supervision in all departments in respect to the di^ 
trict, the town, and the State. The prominent features of the 
Michigan school law were retained among all the changes in 
our Territorial history, and were subsequently engTafted into 
our State Constitution. 

By the terms of this law, each district elected three school 
oflBcers — a Clerk, a Treasurer, and a Collector, and as a! 
were called Directors. They selected the sites for school 
houses, hired teachers, levied and collected the taxes for the 
erection of the houses, and the support of the schools. Each 
town had two sets of school officers. Commissioners and In- 
spectors. The former, three in number, held their office for 
three years, divided the township into districts, called the first 
school meetings, had charge of the school section, leasing it 
when it could be done, and applying the rents for the support 
of common schools. The Inspectors, five in number, were 


History of Education 


elected annually, to examine and license the teachers, and 
visit and inspect the schools. At the head of the State De- 
partment of Instruction, a State Superintendent was appointed 
by the Governor. The last provision was not enforced during 
OUT Territorial existence. 

The first school district in the State was organized under 
this Michigan school law, in Milwaukee, in the fall of 1836. 
This was about the same time that the Territory of Wisconsin 
held its first Legislative session. The first school of this dis- 
trict, and, therefore, the first public school in the State, was 
kept by a Mr. West in the fall of 1836, in a framed school 
house, still standing in the 2d ward of the city, and now known 
as isTo. 371 Third street. Will it not be a privilege for the 
teachers of this Association to make a pilgrimage to this 
humble temple, the first erected in the State for the accommo- 
dation of our noble common schools? 

In 1839, this Territorial school law was revised, and the 
office of Town Commissioners was abolished and their duties 
were transferred to the Inspectors, who had bestowed upon them 
the additional power to listen to complaints against teachers 
and discharge incompetent ones, to keep the school houses in 
repair, and to make returns of the number of scholars in the 
town to the County Commissioners. It was the duty of 
the last named officers to levy a school tax on the whole 
county, and to appoint Inspectors in the towns which refused 
or neglected to choose them. The name of district officers was 
changed to that of Trustees, who could perform for the dis- 
trict the duties assigned to the Inspectors in examining and 
licensing teachers, repairing the school houses, and report- 
ing the number of scholars. 

Within the two years following, the office of Commissioners 
was revived, and that of Inspectors dropped; all their duties 
being enjoined upon the former. More complete directions 
for forming and managing school districts were adopted. The 
Commissioners were required to listen to appeals from any per- 
son aggrieved at the action of a district, and pass a decision 
thereon, which should be final. They made rejwrts each year 

358 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

to the Secretary of the Territory, giving in detail the number 
of school districts in each toT\Ti, the number of scholars 
and teachers, the length of time school had been main- 
tained in each district, and the amount of money raised 
by tax, and paid out for school purposes. A neglect of thia 
duty was accompanied with heavy penalties. 

Provision was made for five district officers — a Clerk, a Col- 
lector, and three Trustees, who were elected annually. It was 
the duty of the Clerk to make yearly a list of the heads of the 
families in the district, and the number of children in each, 
family between the ages of four and sixteen, and to file a copy 
of said list in the ofiice of the Clerk of the Board of County 
Commissioners, and deliver another to the School Commission- 
ers of the town. These duties were afterward transferred to 
the Trustees, who performed all the official labors of the dis- 
trict, except keeping the records, and collecting the taxes. 
They engaged the teachers, had the custody of the school prop- 
erty, made out the tax lists and rate bills, and met the ex- 
penses of the schools. 

The County Commissioners, besides receiving the list of 
families and children from each district, apportioned, annu- 
ally, all moneys in the County Treasury which had been ap- 
propriated to the common schools. 

This code of school laws remained in force, with some slight 
amendments until the State Constitution was adopted in 1848. 
Up to 1841 so many changes were made in the minutia of the 
system, that great confusion was caused in the management of 
the school affairs in the town and in the district, and the peo- 
ple were justly dissatisfied. So strong was this feeling, that no 
important modification was permitted to be introduced until 
the organic law of the State was itself remodeled, seven years 
subsequently, though it was well known that radical deficiences 
existed in the system. 

Previous to the adoption of the State Constitution, the su- 
pervisory management of the public schools was discussed in 
various portions of the State. Defects were pointed out, and 
remedies were demanded. Pive school district officers, subject 


History of Education 


to be changed each year, niade the care of the school cumber- 
some and uncertain. 'No real uniformity or permanency in any 
plan which the district might adopt, could be assured. The 
utility of electing a Town Superintendent in the place of Town 
Commissioners, was considered. It was held that one person, 
with all the responsibility upon him, would be more efficient 
than three, and give greater unity to the work. As early as 
1841 a petition from Eacine county was received by the Legis- 
lature asking for the creation of the office of State Superintend- 
ent. In 1846 a bill passed one branch of the Legislature, pro- 
viding for the appointment of this officer, but was lost in the 
other. Educational conventions were held at Madison, Mineral 
Point and Milwaukee ; and the need of an official head in the 
Department of Education was strongly insisted upon. Com- 
mittees in the Legislature submitted reports upon the subject. 
In both Constitutional Conventions two parties appeared; one 
favoring the establiohment of the office, and the other the con- 
ferring of the duties of the position upon the Secretary of 
State. Hon. Henry Barnard addressed the members of the 
first Convention in regard to the advantages of the office of a 
Sftate Superintendent, and presented the outlines of a system 
of schools supervised by such an officer, which, it is believed, 
was adopted by the Convention, and was subsequently embod- 
ied in the State Constitution. It was found that but little 
harmony existed in the operation of the school laws. Differ- 
ent systems of instruction and government prevailed in differ- 
ent counties. There was no general and efficient method for coi 
lecting school statistics. There was no ultimate authority to 
determine all matters of difficulty or dispute, and to enforce 
the school laws. There were no means by which any informa- 
tion in regard to the condition and the wants of the schools, 
and the opinions and efforts of educators, could be published 
and disseminated throughout the State. It was argued that 
some prominent officer should travel through all the organized 
counties, visiting schools, encouraging and counseling teachers, 
organizing educational associations, and correcting, as far as 

360 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

possible, existing defects in the system and management of 

The present school law went into operation May 1st, 1S49. 
In the Constitution, it was provided that "the supervision of 
public instruction shall be vested in a State Superintendent, 
and such other officers as the Legislature shall direct." The 
Superintendent should be elected by the people, and should 
not receive over $1,200 salary. The Legislature adopted the 
provisions, which required that he shaU have the general 
oversight of the common schools, and shall visit throughout 
the State as far as practicable, inspect schools, address the 
people, communicate with teachers and school officers, and 
secure a uniformity and an improvement in the instruction 
and discipline of the schools. He shall recommend the intro- 
duction of the most approved text books, advise in the selec- 
tion of works for school district libraries, and prescribe the 
regulations for the management of these libraries. He shall 
attend to the publication of the school laws, accompanied with 
proper explanations, and distribute copies of these in all por- 
tions of the State. He shall decide upon all appeals made to 
him from school meetings and Town Superintendents. He 
shall apportion all school moneys distributed each year by the 
State among the towns and cities, and submit to the Legislature 
an annual report, containing an abstract of all the reports re- 
ceived from the Clerks of the County Board of Supervisors, 
giving accounts of the condition of the common schools, and 
the estimates of expenditures of the school money, and pre- 
senting plan^ for the better organization of the schools, and 
such other matters as he may deem expedient to commu- 

From the "New York system of common schools, was bor- 
rowed the idea of establishing the office of Town Superinten- 
dent It was the duty of this officer to divide his town into 
a convenient number of school districts and regulate and alter 
thereafter the boundaries of such districts, to receive and appor- 
tion among the districts all town school moneys, to transmit 
to the County Board of Supervisors an annual report of all 


History of Education 361 

matters connected with the districts, to examine and license 
teachers in his town, and annul their certificates when thought 
desired hj himself, and to visit the schools and examine in- 
to the progress of the pupils in learning, and into the good or- 
der of the schools as to the government thereof, and the course 
of studies to he pursued therein. He received $1.00 per day 
for every day actually and necessarily spent in his work. 

The school district officers were elected each year, and were 
oalled by the old title Directors. The former Collector was 
named Treasurer, the three Trustees were merged into a Direc- 
tor, and the Clerk became again the most responsible officer. 
He kept the district records, acted usually as librarian, fur- 
nished school registers, made annual reports of the condition 
of the district to the Town Superintendent, gave notice of the 
meetings, and engaged qualified teachers with the coinsent of 
either of the other officers. This vrork he performed gratui- 

To any one who has taken the pains to examine the school 
laws of the several States of the Union, it will at first seem 
somewhat surprising that the same general principles and 
methods in regard to school management run through them 
all. The reason for this uniformity lies in the fact that the ex- 
periments tried in one State are usually observ^ed by all the 
others, and any improvements in vogue in one are, after a 
while, adopted in most cases by the rest. So when Wisconsin 
became a State, she fashioned after the prevailing system her 
mode of school supervision, which had been tried in some 
spects and improved during the twelve years of her Territorial 
career, and it is not strange that she accepted some defects 
with the many excellencies of her public school policy. Since 
the organization of the State, only a few changes have taken 
place in the supervisory departments of the State and the school 
district; but more and radical ones in the town. In 1854, the 
State Superintendent was authorized to appoint an Assistant 
Superintendent-, who performed such duties as the principal 
prescribed, which have been usually those belonging to the of- 
fice work, and received $800 salary. His compensation was 

362 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. r 

afterwards raised to $1,000, and in 1865 to $1,500. In tlie be- 
ginning, the Legislature by special acts in each year, allowed 
the traveling expenses of the State Superintendent; but since 
1853 $600, and since 1866 $1,000, have been annually appro- 
priated by law for this object. For ten years previous to 1866, 
$600 were paid out, according to a general statute, each year, 
for clerk hire in his oflSce, and since that time $1,000 have 
been paid. For the first ten years the State Superintendent 
received only $1,000 salary, but since then $1,200, the full 
amount allowed by the Constitution. Most of the time since 
the State University was established, he has been ex-ofpcio a 
member of its Board of Regents ; and since the iN'ormal 
School law was passed, an active Regent on the Board created 
thereby. He has given efficient aid, also, to other valuable 
educational enterprises, such as the State Teachers' Associa- 
tion, the publication of educational periodicals and Teachers' 
Institutes held by Town and County Superintendents, by 
societies of teachers, and by an agent of the ISTormal Regents. 

In the school districts, the officers are now elected each for 
three years in accordance with a law enacted in 1858. In ad- 
dition to the care and custody of the school property, the Dis- 
trict Boards have been required to supervise the schools under 
their charge, inspect the condition and progress of the pupils, 
consult with the teachers in reference to instruction and disci- 

The office of Town Superintendent ceased to exist January 
1, 1862 ; and the duties in examining and licensing teachers, 
visiting and inspecting schools, were transferred to the County 
Superintendents, whose office was established at the same time; 
the duties in the formation and alteration of school districts, to 
Town Supervisors; and the duties in making annual reports 
of items in regard to the districts, such as length of time school 
had been taught, amount of public moneys received, and all 
moneys expended, the district tax and the number of children 
taught in the district, to the Town Clerk. For seven years, at 
least, previous to the abolition of this office, serious objections 
were urged against its efficiency. Rev. A. C. Barry, State 


History of Education 363 

Superintendent, in his annual report of 1855, states that in 
many to\\Tis it is next to impossible to find a person really 
qualified for the ofiice, and, in most cases, the duties of the 
Town Superintendent are not faithfully perfoniied, because of 
the lack of interest, or from an inadequate compensation. He 
discussed the effect which the creation of the office of County 
Superintendent would have upon the teachers and the patrons 
of the schools. In his opinion, this office should not be sub- 
stituted for that of the Town Superintendent, but be correla- 
tive to it. Hon. J. L. Pickard argues in his first annual re- 
port, as State Superintendent, in 1860, that the system of 
Town Superintendency had not the confidence, nor the sup- 
port of the people, nor sufficient merit to secure that confi- 
dence and support. Under it, the inspection of teachers and 
schools was declared to be nearly worthless. To the influence 
of ^Ir. Pickard, are our schools mainly indebted for the suh- 
stitution of the County for the Town Superintendents, as that 
office was created under his administration. The reasons for 
the charge were set forth by the principal educational men in 
the State, as providing better supervision of the schools by se- 
curing the full time and the undivided energies of a man com- 
petent for the business ; as raising the standard of teachers by 
more thorough and public examinations; as arousing among 
the people a greater interest in schools by establishing County 
Associations and Teachers' Institutes, and as introducing uni- 
formity and harmony in the educational efforts of the State. 
The experience of nearly seven years has shown that this office 
has also tended to improve the school houses and the school 
furniture; to assist in bringing about a better classification of 
both studies and scholars in our schools; to increase the sala- 
ries and the influence of teachers; and to establish the most 
approved methods of teaching and discipline. 

There has been in operation for many years in the State a 
system of school government which has been adopted by most 
of our cities and many of our large villages, and which unfor- 
tunately was not for several years connected with the general 
supervision of schools, and which has not to this day, in all 

364 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.t 

respects, placed itself like the district school under the control 
of the State authority. Attention was called to this fact by 
Superintendent Barry in 1856, and reports from the Boards 
of Education of these cities and villages are now required to 
be made yearly to the Superintendents of the counties in which 
they are situated. The first attempt at the formation of this 
independent system was made at Kenosha as early as 1845. 
Among other features it was provided that three Superintend- 
ents should be elected ''to examine into the condition of the 
school at least once in every three months; to determine the 
qualifications of the teachers employed; to direct the arrange- 
ment and classification of the scholars in the several depart- 
ments of study; to prescribe text books, and to have a gen- 
eral supervision over the government and discipline of the 
school.'' Up to this time no such powers had been conferred 
upon any other school officer in the Territory, but since 184^ 
they have been granted in many instances to the Superintend- 
ets of city schools. They have been found necessary to the 
proper grading and classification of these schools. In most 
places the work of examining and assigning to their classes the 
scholars has been transferred from the Superintendents to the 
Principals of the schools, on the ground that the latter were 
better prepared to execute it. Shortly after the system of 
graded schools at Kenosha was established, one person was 
designated as the Superintendent of the place, and Mr. John 
B. Jilson filled this office for a long time. Kacine, Milwaukee, 
Beloit, Janesville, Madison, Sheboygan and Waukesha soon 
followed the example of Kenosha. 

Since the organization of the Department of Public Instruc- 
tion, eight citizens have been elected to the office of State 
Superintendent. The first was Hon. Eleazer Boot, of Wau- 
kesha, who was nominated by the State Central Com m ittee of 
both the Whig and Democratic parties, and was chosen with- 
out opposition. His first term was one year in length. He 
was re-elected, his second term being two years long. During 
his administration, besides issuing a publication of the school 
laws, with notes and instructions, and accompanied with suit- 


History of Education 


able forms for conducting proceedings under them by the 
different school oflacers, and besides carrying into effect the 
provisions of these school laws and systematizing their opera- 
tions, he gave much attention to the foi-mation of graded 
schools in different parts of the State. He had been at the 
head of flourishing Female Seminaries in Virginia and Mis- 
souri, had taught for over a year at Waukesha, and was a 
member of the second Constitutional Convention, and drew up 
the article on education which was adopted by that Conven- 
tion as a portion of the State Constitution. As a Superinten- 
dent, he labored with great zeal, and performed much to give 
impulse and dire<jtion to the educational interests of the State. 

He was succeeded in 1852 by Hon. Azel P. Ladd, of 
Shullsburg, who, durinsj the two years he occupied the office, 
directed his attention largely to the improvement of the in- 
struction imparted in our public schools. He made an ineffect- 
ual attempt to modify entirely our school laws. His reports 
were well written and able. 

Hon. H. A. Wright, of Prairie Du Chien, was the third 
State Superintendent. He died before the term of his office ex- 
pired, in the thirtieth year of his age. He was a young man 
of most agreeable manners and fine abilities. A lawyer by 
profession, he had held the position of County Judge, had ed- 
ited a paper at the place of his residence, and had been a mem- 
ber of both branches of the Legislature. In the only report he 
presented, he deemed it a bad policy to introduce any import- 
ant changes in the school law, and gave quite full directions 
for the improved construction of school houses. 

Rev. A. C. Barry, of Racine, was appointed to fill out the 
term to which Judge Wright had been elected. At its close, 
he was chosen State Superintendent for the two subsequent 
years. He originated the plan of publishing the reports of 
other school officers in the State in connection with his own 
annual report, a plan which has been followed, particularly 
since the election of County Superintendents. He labored 
with ardor to impress upon the people the value of an educa- 
tion, and to elevate the general condition of our schools. He 

vvibcuiisiii ri.isturicai ^oiiecnons [vol. r 

still resides in the State, has been a member of the Assembly, 
was a popular chaplain in the army during the Hebellion, and 
is an influential clergyman in the Universalist denomination. 

Hon Lyman C. Draper, of Madison, was Superintendent in 
the years 1858-59. He has been for many years the efficient 
Secretary of the State Historical Society. He procured, dur- 
ing his term, the passage of an excellent law for establishing 
Town School Libraries. He wrote largely upon this subject 
in his reports, and awakened much interest in it in different 
parts of the State. After a fund of $88,784.78 had accumu- 
lated for the benefit of these libraries, the law was very un- 
wisely repealed in 1861, and the money transferred to the 
school and the general fimds. It is due to this enterprise, that 
this money should be refunded by the State, and this law re- 

Prof. J. L. Pickard, of Platteville, succeeded Mr. Draper. 
He was three times elected to the office, and resigned during 
the first year of his third term. He had taught in other States, 
had acted as the popular principal of the Platteville Academy - 
for fourteen years, and had taken a deep interest in the educa- 
tional affairs of the State. His administration was vigorous 
and successful. Besides securing the establishment of the office 
of County Superintendents, as has already been noticed, he 
made special efforts to enlarge school districts by the consolida- 
tion of smaller ones, and to inspire the teachers with a greater 
interest in their work. 

Col. J. G. McMynn was the next Superintendent by ap- 
pointment, and subsequently by election. Chiefly by his ex- 
ertions, the first graded schools in the State were organized at 
Kenosha and Racine, and became widely known; and the 

♦There was probably no law of its importance ever more fully discussed, or 
passed with, greater unanimity, by any Legislative body, than the Township 
Library Law of 1859 — creating a Library Fund by setting apart for that pur- 
pose one-tenth of the School Fund income, and imposing one-tenth of a, mill 
tax on the taxable property of the State. But the great war tornado of 
1861 burst upon us, and the Legislature, without due reflection, we fear, re- 
pealed the Library Law, when no single petition had ever come up from the 
people asking for such action; and that portioa of the accrued Library Fund 
which had come from the School Fund, was restored to that source, and the 
remainder was placed in the General Fund, to aid, as was proclaimed at the 
time, in equipping our first regiments for the war. Now that the war Is over, 
and most of the State war expenses have been refunded by the General Gov- 
ernment, It Is due to the noble cause of popular education, that the Towa- 
Bhlp Library Law be restored, or a new one enacted, carrying into effect th« 
beneficent purposes contemplated by the friends of education tliroughout th« 
State. L. C. D. 


History of Education 367 

State Teachers' Association was formed fifteen years ago. He 
has labored with energy and a sound judgment in other edu- 
cational movements in the State. He was an officer in one of 
the Wisconsin regiments in the late war. His Superintend- 
ency of schools is distinguished for the passage of the present 
Normal School law, a measure which has been demanded from 
our earliest Territorial history, and for the location of five 
Normal Schools in the State. 

The present incumbent, Hon. A. J. Craig, of Madison, en- 
tered upon the duties of his office at the beginning of the 
year. He formerly taught in one of the schools of Milwau- 
kee, edited the Educational Journal for several years, has been 
a member of the Assembly, and was Assistant State Superin- 
tendent, under Prof. Pickard and Col. McMynn. 

The limits of my article will not allow me to mention in de- 
tail the history of the supervision of our State University, our 
benevolent State institutions, our iSTormal School efforts, and 
the incorporated Academies and Colleges of the State, which 
have never been fully connected with our public system of 

We should be glad to notice how certain questions, which 
are now agitating the minds of teachers in the State, have 
been discussed by district school officers, Superintendents of 
cities, towns, counties, and the State. 

The evils of the truancy and irregular attendance of the 
pupils of our public schools, and the subject of the selection 
of text-books for the schools by tlie State, or by the several 
towns, were considered very early in our State history; but 
no measures in regard to them were adopted. The precise 
work to be accomplished by our Normal School instruction, 
has many times been described. Por ten years the merits of 
the township system of school government, embracing a cen- 
tral high school in each town, have been urged upon the atten- 
tion of the people. 

At the present time much hostility is manifested against 
the system of County Super intend ency. Por the past two 
winters, direct attempts have been made in the Legislature to 

368 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. 

annul the law creating the system, and this was prevented at 
the last session only by the most vigorous exertions. The 
valid objection to the system lies in the fact that it has 
deprived the schools of a local town supervision — an authority 
nearer to the districts and the people. In order to save the 
county system, which is doing an incalculable good, it is 
apparent that concessions will have to be made in favor of a 
town supervising officer, who can oftener visit and inspect 
schools, and come into closer relations with the teachers and 
the scholars while engaged in their work. 

1869.] James Duane Doty 369 

Life and Services of J. D. Doty 

By Gen. Albert G. Ellis 

In compliance with the request of the State Historical So- 
ciety, made on the 2d January, 1866, that I should prepare 
for its archives "a paper on the Life and Public Services of the 
late Hon. James Duane Doty, and their relation to the History 
of Wisconsin," I respectfully submit the following : 

I shall hardly be expected to give a detailed history of all 
his acts and doings; as, while he was Judge of the U. S. 
District Court, for Michigan, west of the Lakes ; as a member 
of the Legislative Council of Michigan from the upper dis- 
trict; as Delegate to Congress from the Territory of Wis- 
consin ; as Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs ; as 
Conmaissioner for treating with the Indian Tribes on the Up- 
per Mississippi ; as a member of the Convention for forming a 
Constitution and State Government; as a member of Con- 
gress from the 3d District of this State; and finally as Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs, and then Governor of Utah^ 
where he died: to do all which would be writing a volume 
— a history of Wisconsin — instead of "a paper." Having 
on the 30th June, 1865, soon after the death of Gov. Doty, 
written and published in the Pinery newspaper of this place, 
a somewhat extended article, I can now do but little more than 
repeat, with some amplification, what I then said; in doing 
which, at the distance I am away from records, libraries, files 
of State newspapers, <S:c., I shall have to draw almost entirely 
on fading recollections of events long since past, and cannot 
therefore, hope to be as accurate as might be wished. 

The distinguished subject of our narrative was a native of 
Salem, Washington County, ISTew York, where he was born 

3 JO Wisconsin Historicai Coiiccdons iToi.v 

in 1799. In the year 1818, lie settled at Detroit, Michigan, 
where the ^vriter first became acquainted with him in the 
Spring of 1822, nearly forty-five years ago. A young la\v3-'er 
of good repute, he was the next year, 1819, admitted to the 
Supreme Court of that Territory; and was the same year 
promoted rapidly to places of public trust — being appoin- 
ted Secretary of the Legislative Council, and Clerk of the 

Although young — only twenty-three — ^vhen I first became 
acquainted with him, and quite juvenile in appearance, he was 
decidedly popular with the people, and had already attracted 
the attention of Gov. Cass, who took much interest in all 
young men of character and taleut. He had a fine address, 
was of a sociable and genial disposition — thereby winning the 
good will, respect and friendship of his acquaintances. 

Gov. Cass, in ISiO, made his famous tour of the Groat 
Lakes, and the Mississippi to its sources, traveling a distance 
of four thousand miles with his party, in five bark canoes. 
?*Ir. D'jfy was selected by the Governor to command one of 
the birch flotilla; C. C. Trowbridge and John H. Xinzi^ 
each having ch?a'ge of another. The trip from Detroit to 
Mackinaw and the Sault St. ]Marie corsumed nearly 90 days, 
and was one of great diitculty and peril. It wa- on this oc- 

• Charles C. TrowhrId?e. Eso.. of Detroit, in a letter to the S^rr(^t-?rv of t'l** 
Sn^'e^r, f ■'rni'^^f'!' t^e>-:f rpr-ii'^i^r-pnc's o*" Gov. Dntv : "T kno"^ Mm ir^tlm'' t^'t- 
v-h-^-t Vivpr" 'n r^e^i-rn^t. T fonnri 'h\vr, hprp wbpn T r^mp. in Spntem'h'^r. ISIO. 
ppri ro'^m^rl ~-it^ hini ma'^p tlie t'^'-'T of t^p Tiakpi ■^ith him in rien. Tass's es- 
ne-Mt'on in 1^20. ard eniovPd his nni'irerruntpd frlend=;hip while he lived. 
fTp rr-pp^^pd mp to ■pp'-ro't n ^p'"-^ months. TTp hpcimp f^e I'^w partner of 
Oe'^r^e ^^f^c^oMo•^1]l. a pofiv^ of "Vftchiefi". of Sm^-oh and French descent. >fac- 
r>on?a'l vras thp-n an eldprlv man. n littlp inciinpd to le thnhre tele, which 
mfid'^ him. at timps. c^o!^- nnd tro"Mp'?omp. His mpntnl m?i1adv so mastpred 
him thp winter of .Tohn O'n^cv Adam's' e'^ction «is P''e'='dent. that hp canned 
a Prpnrh ca^-iolp to he midp. wirh dnnhie hottom. in which to ci^rry some frozen 
\^y--fr, fii^h. f'-om n-^troit. t>i''on"'h Ohio find ovpr the Alle^rhanies. as a hnnnc 
hriirlie 'c,r the President, and was all ready to set out on his journey, when his 
reason rptm-npd. 

''Mac^'JoPTTi') nr'-dictPd from the first that Dotv would hecome a m'^n of mark. 
The co-n^rt'^ershin cpnt'^i-prl fr<r «:pvpral vppts. I thi'^k. nrohahlv, ti!' "noty w?»s 
ma'^p .Ti^d-^e rif i-^e Xorthpm niv-trict. Do<-t- hqd charge of the nlpadines nnd 
d'-'ck-t. r-nd !\racD'i" trail rs<='"5tpii in co-irt-. -^-hpr'* hi=! pxcplipnt knowiedee of the 
Frpnch laneua^p ^^as a connterhalfincp to >iis Hok of lp"ral .itts^inmpnt and eood 
hnrse senxe. While Oov-rnor Doty lived in Dpt^oit, he was distinmishod for 
c'o<'-p s-nrliVition to hi=? nro<^ps^1on and '"or friTrn'ity. T h.Tve heen toM thrxt he 
rr-^nif'-'j-'-Pd ;i widplv sripc^'''?'tiv'-- firn. nnrpo-T-lPtpd hv nroner r'dirment. in Wiscon- 
sin. He may have no'^SP'='.'=Pd t^p crerm of t^at tendp^cv when hpr^. h'^t in tliot 
dov frpr-d TV'as nothin*' to cnpcnlntp with or nnon. Thp h'-'m-dr'-'m of Tprrito"!il 
]',f0 o«: r.r^-r |mn5t-|on n <5 pnc^ihlp. FvPn !i s Inte as 1«?^^4. T r^fr]]r\f^6 v.prT>rninc 

p '-nrtv thp r^"rf>v.Top ^.f f^,, |^ fhp Kln^ip addition to rhicn?o. rhp North 

PIdp. at five thousand do'la^s. Tpn veal's nrior to that I wag in r'h'caTO. and 
woniri not have siven that sum for both sides of the river as far as the eye couid 

"I would ?!ad!y furnish you somethlntr upon Governor Doty's histnrv. which 
m\'^ht }>e (•■ pervice in your annals, hut onr long; ppp^ration has rondpr^d it nnr 
of my poM-pr." 


James Duane Doty 

casion that Gov. Cass, supported by his assistants and canoe- 
men, in the presence of the assembled dignitaries of the fierce 
Chippewas, and in defiance of their menaces, pulled down the 
British flag, which those Indians had displayed on the Ameri- 
can side of the Straits on his arrival, and hoisted the Stars and 
Stripes in its place. Mr. Doty was present, and aided, with 
his own hands, in displaying the American flag. He often 
spoke of it as a most exciting scene. The party left Detroit 
early in May, traversed the Lakes, and reached the sources 
of the Mississippi, held conferences with various Indian tribes, 
and returned the last of iTovember. Mr. Doty, besides having 
charge of one of the canoes, acted as secretary of the expedi- 

In the winter of 1821, Mr. Doty was at Washington, where 
Mr. Henry Wheaton procured his admission as attorney in 
the Supreme Court of the United States at the age of twenty- 
two years. 

In the winter of 1822-3, Congress passed an "act to pro- 
vide for the appointment of an additional Judge, for the Mich- 
igan Territory," and to establish courts in the counties of 
Michillimackinac, Brown and Crawford; the two latter coun- 
ties embracing aU that is now Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and 
Dacotah. From the numerous applicants for the place, Presi- 
dent Monroe selected James Duane Doty, of Detroit, for the 
new Judge. ISTo more suitable appointment could have been 
made. With the exception of the two small settlements of 
Green Bay and Prairie Du Chien, the whole vast area west of 
Lake Michigan was an unbroken wilderness, and Judge Doty 
soon proved himself just the man to traverse, explore and ex- 
pose its wild recesses to civilization. 

Descending the Lake from Green Bay to 'N&w York, in May,. 
1823, the writer found him in Detroit, already on the way to 
his new circuit accompanied by his wife, whom he had just 
married — the eldest daughter of Gen. Collins, of ISTew Hart- 
ford, Oneida Co., K Y. The lady has since proven herself 
eminently qualified for the wife of one destined to the eventful 
career which has since marked the foot-steps of her husband. 

37 2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voiv 

Gen. Collns, her father, was a prominent officer in the War 
of 1812, commanding the ^ew York State militia at Sacket's 

Judge Doty lost no time in entering on his duties as Judge 
— law-giver to a country sufficient in extent for an empire. 
He repaired forthwith to Prairie Du Chien; organized the Ju- 
diciary of Crawford county, and opened court. It was no easy 
task to inaugurate justice in these wilds; to create sheriffs, 
clerks and jurors, out of half breed Indian traders, voj/ageurs, 
and couriers du hois, but the tact, talent and perseverance oi 
the young Judge prevailed: It was done, and stood fast. 

Judge Doty had thought to make Prairie Du Chien his 
resting place — his home — but the leadino" Indian trader, and 
one of great influence in the country, especially, not regarding 
the establishment of courts within the precincts of his trade 
with favor, but with evident dislike, early intimations of a 
want of good neighborhood appeared between the leading 
traders and the Judge of the U. S'. District Court ; to avoid 
which, as well as to find a more healthy location for his family, 
he determined on a permanent residence at Green Bay, to 
which place he soon removed, and made it his home for twenty 

The Judge proceeded to organize courts in Michillimackinac 
and Brown counties, where he found the inhabitants generally 
disposed to render every assistance in bringing a wild country 
subject to law and good order. The terms were held with 
perfect regularity throughout the whole district; he continued 
to discharge his onerous duties for nine years and until super- 
ceded by Judge Irwin, in 1832 ; when he turned over his ju- 
dicature to his successor, and retired to private life — if, indeed, 
his time and talents, devoted as they were thenceforward to 
the development of the resources of this new country, could, 
in any sense, be termed "private life." 

Relieved from the cares and responsibilities of the Judgeship 
and courts, he immediately commenced, on his own resources, 
a personal examination, by repeated tours, of the country that 
now constitutes Wisconsin and iSTorthem Illinois. It was then 


James Duane Doty 


inhabited and possessed by the Aborigines. His sagacious 
mind saw the importance of conciliating these natives; he 
visited every village of note; made himself acquainted with, 
and gained the good will of the chiefs; and contributed, in 
no small degree, to the good understanding which followed 
between the Government and these savage tribes. In the 
course of these explorations he traveled over the whole of the 
southern part of our State many times — often quite aJone — 
stopping in the deep forest wherever night overtooli him, 
tying his Indian pony to a sapling, and with his saddle for a 
pillow, laying down under his blanket with as little concern 
as if in his own house. 

In 1830, Congress made an appropriation for surveying and 
locating a military road from Green Bay to Chicago, and to 
Prairie Du Chien. Judge Doty and Lieut. Center, of the 
U. S. army, were appointed Commissioners, and suiweyed and 
located these roads during 1831 and 1832. Keposing from 
these labors and travels, Judge Doty projected a map of this 
Upper Country, from which in the main, one was soon after- 
wards — ^but before the surveys — constructed for the use of the 
War Department, and which to this day is still used there. 

Judge Doty's talents for usefulness were now conceded and 
appreciated by all ; the people of the district of Michigan west 
of the Lake elected him to the Legislative Council, in 1834, 
in which he served with marked ability for two years. It was 
while he was a member, that the Legislative Council of that 
Territory began to agitate the question of a State Government, 
which he was first to introduce, and which finally prevailed. 

Returning from the Legislative Council, he became an ac- 
tive operator in the public land sales, which were opened at 
Green Bay in 1835-6. He was applied to from all quarters by 
capitalists, to take agencies for the purchase of choice locations 
in the Green Bay land district. Hundreds of thousands of 
dollars were placed at his disposal for investment — such confi- 
dence had they in his integrity and knowledge of the country, 
and its best points for future towns and cities. The result 
showed the confidence not misplaced; many of the most pop- 

374 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

ulous towns and villages of the State to-day, stand on sites se- 
lected at that time by him. 

The rapid settlement of the comitry beyond the Great Lakes, 
called for a new Territorial Government — a separation from 
[Michigan. Congress passed the act creating the Territorial 
Government of Wisconsin, in 1836. Hon. Henry Dodge re- 
ceived the appointment of Governor, and assembled the first 
Legislature at Behnont. One of the most important matters 
brought before that body, and to be settled by it, was the lo- 
cation of the seat of government. Judge Doty, though re- 
maining in private life, had not been idle, and especially was 
not uninterested in this matter of a capital for Wisconsin. 
There was gi-eat excitement over the matter in the Legislature ; 
while others were planning, Judge Doty was acting. He ap- 
peared at Belmont as a lobby member; and almost before the 
Solons knew of it, by his superior tact, had brought about a 
vote fixing the seat of government at Madison, the beautiful 
place where it now is. There was a good deal of sparring and 
fault-finding with Doty and his management at the time; but 
all agree, now, that it was then, as it is seen to be since, just 
the right place for the capital. 

Wisconsin, as an organized Territory, had now a Delegate 
in Congress. Judge Doty succeeded Hon. George W. Jones 
in 1838, and served till 1841, when he was appointed Gov- 
ernor of Wisconsin by President Tyler, serving nearly three 
years, and was succeeded by Gov. Tallmadge. While Gover- 
nor and Superintendent of Indian affairs, the Indians in Min- 
nesota — Dacotahs or Sioux, and Chippewas — ^began to be un- 
easy and troublesome. The War Department instituted a 
commission for conference with them. Gov. Doty, on ac- 
count of his known acquaintance with Indian character, was 
selected as Commissioner. He soon assembled the sachems, 
and had a council. They listened with profound attention, 
difficulties were allayed, and he made two highly important 
treaties with the ISTorth-Westem Indian tribes. The Senate, 
however, not accepting them, no opportunity was had of test- 
ing their value, or otherwise, to the country. 


James Duane Doty 


He was a member of the first Constitutional Convention^ in 
1846; and although the draft of the Constitution offered by 
that Convention, was rejected by the people, the general 
opinion is that it was a far better one than that finally adopted 
two years afterwards. He was elected to Congi^ess from the 
Third District, under the State organization of 1848, and 
re-elected in 1851, and procured by his industry and influence, 
important legislation for the State and his constituency; 
serving both terms with great honor to himself, and to the en- 
tire satisfaction of the people of the district. 

In 1853 he retired once more to ^^private life;'^ to be re- 
called by President Lincoln in 1861 — first as Superintendent of 
Indian Affairs, and subsequently as Governor of Utah; hold- 
ing this last place at the time of his death, June 13th, 1865. 
Por the manner in which he discharged those important trusts, 
reference is here had to the testimony of Hon. Charles 
Durkee, his successor, and who is also from our State, and 
was for many years intimately acquainted with him, both as a 
public man and a private friend. In his first message to the 
Legislative Assembly of Utah, Gov. Durkee thus alludes to 
his predecessor: 

"Since your last session, one who was accustomed to advise 
with you in matters of legislation, has, by a mysterious Provi- 
dence, been removed from his chosen field of labor. 

"On the 13th of June last Governor James Duane Doty, de- 
parted this life. Inasmuch as he was the Executive of this 
Territory at the time of his death, it is proper and becoming 
that I should upon this occasion express my sympathy with 
his family and the people in view of this solemn event. 

"From a long and intimate acquaintance with the deceased, 
it gives me pleasure to bear testimony to his superior abilities 
as a statesman, and to his many virtues as a citizen. 

"Governor Doty had for a long period enjoyed the esteem 
and confidence of his fellow citizens. They had given him 
prominent positions both in the State and IsTational councils, 
where his services proved creditable to himself, advantageous 
to his constituents, and useful to his country. He was greatly 

376 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

attached to frontier life. He was a pioneer in tlie settlements 
of Michigan and Wisconsin^ and his predilection was exempli- 
fied in a request that his remains should repose in Utah, his 
recently adopted home." 

Gov. Doty was what we term in the West, a self-made man. 
Without the advantages of a collegiate education, yet by a 
constant study of men and things he well supplied its place. 
His vigorous mind was eminently practical, and his reading 
very extensive, especially in all that related to the Government 
of our country, and the history of the Xorth-West. Personally 
he had the advantage of a fine commanding figure; open, in- 
telligent and pleasing countenance, and a most winning ad- 
dress; you were his friend at first sight. 

i^ot a politician in the common acceptance of the term, he 
yet had many and some very sharp political contests. In 
these he was always true to his friends, and placable and 
courteous to his enemies. As a public man he was equally 
approachable and dignified; neither sycophantic to power, 
nor repulsive to. the humble and dependent. He had, in a most 
eminent degree, the good will of the masses. 

Coming to this Upper Country in 1822-3, he was, without a 
figure of speech, ^^one of the old settlers." But one American 
citizen now living is known, who came to Wisconsin as early 
as he did.* 

Gov. Doty's last residence in the State, was at Menasha, on 
Doty's Island — one of the many villages that have sprung up 
under his influence. He had two sons and one daughter. 
The eldest son, Maj. Charles Doty, late a Commissary in 
the U. S. Army, mustered out in April last, now resides at 
Menasha. The second son, James, accompanied Gov. Stevens, 
on his exploring expedition for a route for railroad from the 
Mississippi to the PacJific Ocean, and died in Washington Ter- 
ritory some years since. 

Mrs. Sarah C. Doty, the Governor's wife, accompanied him 
to Utah in 1864; was with him at his death; has since returned 

•Gen. A. G. Ellis, the writer of this narrative, who first came to Wisconsin 
in 1821, in company with Eleazer Williams, and for aome time acted as 
school teacher for the mlsaion school of New York Indians, near Green Bay. 

L. C. D. 


James Duane Doty 


to Wisconsin, and now resides in OsKkosli, "with her widowed 
daughter, Mrs. Fitzgerald. 

The surviving members of Gov. Doty's family will mourn 
his death; yet such men never really die, but live in their 
deeds — their memories cherished and enshrined by posterity 
to the latest ages. 

Stevexs Point, Jan. 1867. 

378 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

Reminiscences of Hole-in-the- 


By Julius T. Clark 

In tlie suminer of 1843, weary of a life of almost idleness 
and chafing in spirits for sometKing to break up the dull mon- 
otony of life as it was then forced to be spent in this now com- 
paratively goodly city, I accepted from Governor Doty a 
subordinate position under Government, among the Chippewa 
Indians. My station was to be at S'andy Lake, an old trading 
post of the !N"orth- Western, and more recently the American, 
Fur Company. 

I left Madison the first day of August, two days by stage 
taking me to Milwaukee^ and two more by steamboat to Mack- 
inac, where I was forced to remam a week or more, waiting for 
an opportunity to proceed to Sault St. Marie. The garrison at 
Mackinac was then under the command of Captain, afterwards 
Lieut. Col. Martin Scott, who subsequently fell, as I learned, 
at the battle of Molino Del Eey, in our war with Mexico. 

At that time Capt. Scott possessed great celebrity as an ac- 
curate marksman, and many a wonderful tale was told of his 
skill in this particular. After spending several days on this 
Island, where nature has l:ivished so much that is beautiful 
and picturesque, I embarked in a small fishing boat or ski€, 
barely large enough to hold myself and baggage, and my com- 
pagnon de voyage, who carried a weekly or monthly mail, as 
might suit the convenience of those concerned, from Mackinac 
to Sault St. Marie. A rapid run tinged with somewhat of 
danger to our little bark, over the dark waters of Lake HuroD, 
brought us into St. Mary's River, on whose bank we encamped 
for the night. The next day, with no little toil and expendi- 

1869] Hole-in-the-Day 379 

ture of manual labor, against the strong current of the river, 
we reached the Ealls or Rapids, celebrated since the day when 
they were first visited by Raymbanlt and Jogues, on their 
tour of spiritual conquest. 

Here, again, I was compelled to wait a week or two for the 
departure of a vessel to La Pointe. There were at that time 
but two vessels upon Lake Superior; one, a hermaphrodite 
brig, Capt. Stannard, belonged to the American Fur Com- 
pany, and the other a smaller vessel belonging to a Cleveland 
company. These vessels were then at Sault St. Marie for the 
double purpose of taking in such supplies as the Companies 
needed for fall and winter use and trade, and also to take to 
La Pointe Government stores for the annual payment to the 
Chippewas, which was to take place in the month of Septem- 
ber. Accompanying them, also, were a number of persons 
from Detroit and other places upon the Lakes, with a goodly 
supply of scarlet cloth, beads and cheap jewelry, and such 
other articles as would be most likely to draw from the In- 
dians the money which the Government officers were about to 
disburse among them. I embarked on one of these vessels, 
and after a pleasant sail through the king of all Lakes, in due 
time arrived at La Pointe. 

La Pointe was then occupied as the chief post or factory of 
the American Fur Company, from whence all the inferior 
agencies received their stated supplies. Dr. B. W. Borup 
was then at the head of this department of the Company's oper- 
ations. He was a Dane, from Copenhagen, and a highly cul- 
tivated and intelligent gentleman, in whose family I found, on 
his invitation, a most pleasant home, during my stay upon the 

In former times the Company had found it necessary to make 
all the defences, and keep up the discipline of a military post 
But at the period of my visit, this had been considerably re- 
laxed. La Pointe was also occupied as a missionary station- 
There were two missionary establishments — Catholic and Prot- 
estant; the former, then under the charge of Father Baraga, 
had existed for a long series of years, having preceded even 

380 Wisconsin Historical Collections [vol. 

the footsteps of the early traders: the latter had heen estab- 
lished more recently, but under the energetic labors of Mr. 
Hall, had accomplished considerable in the way of civiliza- 
tion and Christianity for the poor savage. Among other things 
done by ^Ir. Hall, he reduced the Chippewa (or more prop- 
erly, O-jeeb-wa) language to a system ; and translated the Xew 
Testament and a variety of other books into their language. 
One of these Testaments, I had the pleasure of presenting to 
this Society after my returm 

I have also a part of the grammar, as made by Mr. Hall^ 
in manuscript — and I may say here what will illustrate the re- 
marks which I shall make when speaking of him who is really 
the object of what I had desig-ned to say — that the O-jeeb-wa 
language abounds in vowels and liquids, and is by far the 
most musical and richest language of which I have any knowl- 
edge. The almost endless inflections of the verb in its differ- 
ent forms, enables the Chippewa to express every shade of 
thought in one word, which would either be altogether imposr 
eible in our language, or only to be arrived at, by an awk- 
ward and uncertain circumlocution. As an evidence of this, I 
will state, that one of the missionaries told me that there were 
about one hundred and fifty forms of the regular verb in the 
indicative mood, present tense, first person, singular number. 
This might have been somewhat exaggerated; but that there 
is a wonderful facility in adapting the verb to the thought, I 
can bear witness from even the alight knowledge which I ob- 
tained of the language. 

Soon after my arrival, the Indians began to assemble for pay- 
ment, and in a few days several hundreds of the chiefs and 
braves of the nation were gathered on the Island; and finer 
specimens of men in their physical structure and general ap- 
pearance could not be found among any people. In this re- 
spect the Chippewas are far superior to any other of the 
savage tribes which I have met. I cannot now enter into 
anything like a detail of what I learned of their general history, 
but the Chippewa is one of the most numerous and extended 
of the Indian tribes, occupying a large portion of the ISTorth 




and J^orth-West. That part of the nation among whom I 
resided and I prcsuiue the same is the case with the remainder, 
is divided into nimierous hands, each under a subordinate chief, 
but the whole under one generally acknowledged head — and 
that head chief, at the time of my visit, was the celebrated 
Hole-in-the Day. This was the common name by which he 
was kno^^m among our people. His real name was Pug-o-na- 
ghe-zhisk, which, being literally translated, means, a pvincture 
through the sky, through which the light streams down. He did 
not occupy this position by hereditary right, but by the com- 
mon voice of the nation, aided by his own restless ambition and 
love of distinction. For, like most of the ruder nations, the 
Indians while nominally recog^iizing the hereditar}^ nature of 
the chieftainship, are by no means confined to it, and a man of 
aspiring and really superior character, has it almost always in 
his power to reach the goal of his ambition, irrespective of the 
accidents of birth. 

Brusha, the really head chief of the nation, as I was in- 
formed, although a person of more than ordinary intelligence, 
was not possessed of those daring and bold traits of character, 
which are so captivating to the Indian mind; and while he 
was respected and deferred to, as a legitimate hereditary chief, 
the nation looked to and followed Hole-ix-the-Day (for I 
shall continue to call him by that name, by which he is 
known to our people,) as their leader, and it was his counsel 
and his plans which were in the end adopted. In his person, 
he was rather under, than over the average height of the war- 
riors assembled with him. In his dress he wa^ very plain. 
We all know how fond the Indians are of finery and tinsel, 
and this is the characteristic of both sexes and all classes. I 
have seen at least fifty ear-rings in one ear of some more than 
ordinary pretentious squaw, not to mention the ornaments on 
her arms and legs. Fops are by no means confined to Broad- 
way or State street ; I have seen their legitimate brothers in the 
wilds of the JS^orth West. The freedom of Hole-in-the-Day from 
this universal passion of his people, showed of itself a s'.iperi 
oritj and earnestness of character. There was in his appear- 

382 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

ance and manner, when unexcited, a sobriety and tlioiightful- 
ness, which almost amounted to sadness. Something of the 
character of that exhibited in Sully's portrait of Black 
Hawk, in the possession of the Society — ^with the difference, 
that it seemed the more remarkable in Hole-in-the-Day, as 
he was much more youthful, having scarcely arrived at the 
prime of life. He was also taciturn in his temperament, seldom 
conversing in public except upon matters of general interest 
t6 his people, and then in an earnest and dignified way. 

The first time my attention was particularly called to him, 
was at a council of the subordinate chiefs and braves, held dur- 
ing the payment, when some question of reciprocal obligation 
between the Indians and the General Government, out of which 
a misunderstanding had risen, was under consideration. The 
Indians were seated in a large circle, and at one side within this 
circle, stood Hole-in-the-Day. When he began to speak, he 
was very deliberate, and his voice was calm, and his manners 
mild and gentle as a woman's ; but as he continued speaking, 
his animation and energy increased, until he finally poured 
forth a torrent of eloquence, such as I had never heard before. 
As his chest heaved and his eye glowed with the fervor of his 
thoughts, his right arm bare and extended, and his mantle, 
like the Roman toga, hanging over the other shoulder and 
around his body, he looked the personification of Eloquence 
itself. His control over his uncultivated brethren of the forw: 
was complete, and it was to me a matter of very great interest 
to watch the effect produced upon them by the varying nature 
of his remarks: At one time, while engaged, perhaps in the 
simple narrative of facts and incidents connected with his sub- 
ject, they would quietly sit and listen with an occasional mur- 
mur of approval of the truth of what he was saying; but 
when it suited his purpose to appeal to their passions, he would 
rouse himself up to all the fire and impetuosity of his nature, 
and while his eye flashed and his features changed with the 
changing emotions which glowed within his own breast, these 
passions and emotions ran like an electric shock through his 
auditors, until unable longer to restrain themselves, they 




would literally leap from their seats, and in a frenzy of excite- 
ment, fill the air with their savage yells. I had read in that 
charming book of Wirt^s^ The Life of Patsick Hetntey, his 
description of the effect of IIe]xey's eloquence in the celebrat- 
ed trial of the parsons, and, it seemed to me, an incident and a 
power which had passed away with the heroes of that time — 
not to be renewed, or permitted to be observed by us, their 
degenerate descendants; but here in the wilds of the ^orth 
West, among these native sons of the forest, I was permitted 
to see the full working of this wonderful power of mind over 

Hole in the Day was the only man in the nation who was 
feared by the traders and Government officers. I do not mean 
that they feared personal injury, or were in danger of coming 
into personal conflict with him; but they feared his influence 
with his people. Although he was not inimical to our Gov- 
ernment, yet he was very jealous of the honor and the rights 
of his own nation; instances of the violation of both of v,-hich 
he had been forced occasionally to ^Ttness. He had seen por- 
tions of their territory passing away by treaty to the United 
States, and the price, in many instances, perhaps, not alto- 
gether an unfair one, enticed from them by the cunning and 
artifice of the hordes of petty traders who thronged the annual 
payments, leaving the poor savage nothing adequate in re- 
turn either for his land or his money; and actuated, no doubt, 
by a sincere regard for the welfare of his people, he had both 
in private and in public councils, thro^vn all the weight of his 
influence and authority against this policy, or rather, want of 
policy, on their part. The traders made use of every effort 
that promised any returns to overcome this opposition, and win 
him to their interests, but without any real success. But the 
stores of goods and the boxes of coin, with which the Indians 
were tempted, proved too powerful even for the eloquence of 
their favorite leader to wholly withstand. Still his influence 
was sufficient to keep the traders in a state of constant anxiety. 
They courted his favor, but he met them with coldness and 
reserve; they offered him presents, but, as a general thing, he 

384 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

declined to receive them. There was one avenue, however, 
through which thej found access to him, and that was the In- 
dian's innate and unconquerable love of ardent spirits. 

Perhaps it would be impossible to find a more illustrative 
example of the power of this passion for intoxication, than 
was exhibited in the life of this celebrated chief. With the 
firmness of any of the ancient heroes to withstand all the ap- 
proaches of corruption, and temptations to treachery, and with 
all the consciousness that he was the idol of his people, and of 
his ability to maintain that position, if true to himself; and 
with too much sagacity not to see where a course of dissipation 
would be sure to leave him in the end, he still allowed himself 
to be taken an easy and willing prey in this snare, designedly 
spread for his overthrow. 

At the time I knew him, the law of the United States pro- 
hibiting the sale or gift of intoxicating liquor to the Indians, 
was enforced by the officers of the Government with as much 
fidelity as practicable, so that it was very difficult to elude 
their vigilance; and instances of its violation were compara- 
tively few, and of course it was very rarely that the Indians 
had an opportunity of gratifying a taste, which is as natural 
to an Indian as his breath. But the discovery and working of 
the Copper Mines, and other avenues of speculation about that 
time, soon drew nmnerous white settlers into different part.^ of 
that region, and with civilization came its necessary concomi- 
tants in the cour.tiy, diTmkonness and debauchery: and tlie 
Chippewa of that country of to-day, is, I suppose, quite a dif- 
ferent person from the Chippewa of early times, before tlioso 
vices had degraded him to a level with his white brethren. 
With numbers of others, Hole-in-the-Day also fell. Parta- 
king of the demoralization of his tribe, he partially lost his 
influence over them, and followed the white population who 
ministered to his appetite for drink, until at last, several years 
since, while riding in a state of intoxication from St. Paul to 
St. Anthony, he was thrown from the vehicle, and killed by the 
fall. Such was the inglorious end of the life of one of the 




most distinguished chiefs of his time, and whose eaxly career 
gave such promise of success. 

What he would have been under other circumstances, and 
away from the contaminating influence's and examples of the 
white settlers, can, of course, only be a matter of conjec- 
ture. He fell so soon after his rise, that we are left somewhat 
in doubt as to the genuine nature of the power by which he 
rose. There was very little in the circimistanoes and history of 
his nation while he remained as its acknowledged head, to call 
forth large energies and develop great traits, had he possessed 
these quantities in ever so eminent a degree. The relations 
existing between the Indians and our own Government, were, 
in the main, conducted with so much fairness, and such re- 
gard shown to their wishes and welfare, that they had no just 
ground for hostility to us; and I found, in fact, that there 
existed, almost universally among them, kind and loyal feel- 
ings tovv^ards us as a nation, and there was a very general readi- 
ness to acknowledge the word of their Great Father as law. 

The hereditary feuds existing between the Chippewas and 
Sioux, were at this time held in check by the power of our 
Government, and a repetition of the bloody wars which had 
been the yearly history of these two nations for centuries, ren- 
dered difficult or impossible ; and thus these avenues, almost the 
only ones open to a savage chief, were efFectualy closed to the 
aspiring ambition of Hole-in-the-Day, whatever may have been 
his desire or his ability to pursue them. 

It is not impossible, that the chafing and unrest of his en- 
ergies, confined and hampered, as they were, for want of an 
adequate theatre for their exercise, may have contributed to 
that course of life, which led so rapidly to his fall. 

Had the theatre been open to him, I have no doubt he would 
have been successful in reaJizing the utmost limits of his am- 
bition. Xature had stamped her mark upon him. The Indians, 
his brethren, who, whatever else they may lack, do not lack a 
quick apprehension of character, showed their appreciation of 
him in the name they gave him. 

386 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

We are so prone to associate greatness with, schools and 
books, and the arts and sciences of civilized life, that it is ex- 
tremely difficult to realize that a man may be great without 
any of these things entering into the elements of his greatness ; 
and I presume it is as true of others, as of myself, that we 
bave no just understanding of the Indian character until after 
a personal and somewhat intimate acquaintance with them- 
Heading and description do not give it unto us, for the reason 
that we have formed in our mind one standard of greatness for 
civilized, and another for savage life ; and we involuntarily and 
almost necessarily employ the latter when contemplating any 
of the race to which we have applied it. Personal acquaint- 
ance alone will thoroughly rectify this mistake. JSTature is true 
to herself. The greatness of genius is inherent, and not the 
result of nationality or of any factitious circumstances of 
birth or education. Quickness of perception, firmness of pur- 
pose, comprehensiveness of mind, incorruptible fidelity, noble- 
ness of disposition — these, and other like qualities, make the 
truly gre^t man, whether civilized or savage ; and the career of 
Hole-in-the-day, short and unfavorable as it was, developed 
these traits of character, and for these let us respect his mem- 
ory, and draw a veil, if possible, over that part of his life 
in which the power of the tempter was too strong even for 
these virtues to resist, and wherein he fell, as many of our 
own good and great have fallen. 
February llth, 1862. 

1869] Hole-in-the-Day 387 

Sketch of Hole-in-the-Day 

By Rev. Alfred Brunson, A. M., D. D. 

My first acquaintance witli this celebrated Chippewa chief 
was in July, 1838, when I was a missionary to his tribe, on the 
Upper Mississippi. I next met him at La Pointe, in the fall of 
1843, when I was Indian agent at that place. As he was a 
distinguished man, both on the river and on the lake, I natural- 
ly made all the inquiries and observations I could in reference 
to him. My interpreters, both in the mission and in the agency, 
were natives of the Chippewa country, and knew him from 
their youths. Lyman Warren, then (in 1843) a trader for 
twenty-five years among these Indians, had known this chief 
from t youthj and, being a man of some intelligence, and of a 
historic turn of mind, seemed to be well posted in this matter. 
I also availed myself of conversations with, and inquiries made 
of other traders and aged intelligent Indians. From the infor- 
mation thus received, and from personal observations, I am 
enabled to give the following facts and characteristics of this 
chief : 

He must have been bom about the year 1800, as he was 
about twenty years of age in 1820, when he made his first 
mark in his career, before the whites. He was bom, as near as 
I could leam, not far interior from La Pointe, at a place now 
in the State of Wisconsin. Possessing an enterprising spirit, 
and a dare-devil in temperament, he was early upon the war- 
path, the chase, and in every enterprise calculated to give disr 
tinction in the estimation of untutored men. Having, while 
quite young, slain one of his nation's hereditary foes, he 
had consequently, according to Indian usage, a feather in • 
his hair, and a seat in the council among the braves, where he 

388 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.t 

was soon distinguished for his eloquence, wisdom, and force of 

His daring exploits on the war-path, the chase and i:i per- 
sonal encounters, as well as his boldness and force in council, 
naturally drew around him the young men of his tribe, who 
admired such feats and traits of character, and who acknow- 
ledged him as a leader. Like other demagogues, in their 
aspiration for distinction and notoriety, he moulded the minda 
of his admirers and adherents as he desired, and his superior 
talent and tact at this, and his success in it, could hardly fail 
to create in him an ambition for position and distinction among 
his o*wn people, even if it had not been born in him. 

He was not a hereditary chief, though his mother was the 
daughter of a chief; but by common consent of his admirers 
and followers, he led them in the war-path, in the chase, and 
in the council, much after the style of the whites in such cases. 

His first introduction to the whites, as a man of mark, and 
a reliable friend of the Government, was on this wise: ^Vfter 
the war with Britain of 1812-15, when the British employed 
the Indians extensively on our i^'orth Western frontier, they 
continued to give them presents annually, to secure their 
friendship and services in case of another war. One point at 
which those presents were distributed was on our soil, at St. 
Mary's, the outlet of Lake Superior, where all the Indians on 
both sides of the Lake and as far west as the headwaters of 
the Mississippi and Bed Lake, gathered to receive them. 

In 1820, Lewis Cass, Governor of Michigan Territory, and 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs in all the ITorth West, was 
ordered to break up this present-giving custom on our soil, and 
if possible, secure the good will of the Indians to our Govern- 
ment and people, and detach them from the British, for with- 
out it, in case of another war, they would be troublesome cus- 
tomers on that frontier. He ascended the Lakes and in- 
tervening rivers with some twenty-five officers, and soldiers, 
together with interpreters, voyagers and domestics, in all, per- 
haps, fifty or sixty men, in a fleet of bark canoes, with a fidl 
supply of provisions, and goods for presents. On reaching 




that place, the Governor foiind a large body of Chippewa 
Indians encamped, and the British flag waving in the wind, all 
awaiting the arrival of the British agent and his goods. 

To cope with this formidable body of savages whose attach- 
ments to their British benefactors, were enthusiastic, with this 
handful of men, was a ,f earful, if not a hopeless, task. But for- 
tune favors the brave. Cass with his own hands, hauled down 
the British flag, trampled upon it, and hoisted the Stars and 
Stripes in the presence, and in defiance of the Indians who 
stood, guns in hand, and called for those of them who weire 
friendly to the United States to come forward, and support 
and defend it. 

This was an occasion suited to the genius, temperament, and 
feelings of Hole-in-the-Day. With characteristic impetuosity 
ajid bravery, he rushed up to the Governor and his escort, and 
called aloud for his friends and the friends of the United 
States to join him in defending the flag and the Governor. In^ 
stantly a hundred or more stood by his side, ready to obey 
his commands, when our hero thundered defiance at those who 
favored the foreign flag, and challenged combat with any who 
dared to molest ^^our Great Father," or the flag. His char- 
acter was so well known on both sides of the Lake, that no one 
dared to raise a hand against him, or the Governor. But for 
this daring exploit it was thought by the whites who were 
present, that Cass and all his men would have been killed on 
the spot."^ The result was, the British agents were not allowed 
to land nor distribute their goods on our soil, but were com- 
pelled to go on the other shore, whither the Indians from that 

•There must be some mistake in connecting Hole-In-the-day with this affair. 
When Gen. Cass pulled down the British flag, there was great commotion 
among the Indians, but none came to his aid. The statements of Cass, School- 
craft and Trowbridge, all eye-witnesses, corroborate this fact. But during 
the ensuing night, when great efforts were made among the Chippewa^ to 
prevent an out-break, young Hole-in-the-day may have distinguished himself 
In opposing the British party, and preserving peace. Or, it is not at all im- 
probable, that the young Indian hero called Buck by Mr. Trowbridge, in his 
account of the affair, appended to this series of papers on Hole-in-the day, 
father and son, may have been the veritable young Hole-ln-the-Day himself; 
for It is not uncommon for Indians to change their names — especially supplant- 
ing their youthful one with another more characteristic of their adult actions, 
or more consonant with their tastes or aspirations. Dr. Brunson adds in 
verbal explanation of this discrepancy, that he can only asry that he had the 
narrative of Ilole-in-the-day's connection with the event In question, from 
Lyman Warren, and his son Wm. W. Warren — the latter the native historian 
of the Chippewas, whose narrative is given In the 2d vol. of Schoolcraft's 
large work on the Hiatory of the Indian Tribes'., and It would, therefore, seem 
thouffh there must have been some foundation for It. L. C. D. 

390 Wisconsin Historical Collections [roi.v 

side followed, and some few from our side, and received 
their presents. But Hole-in-the-day, and all he could con- 
trol, being most, if not all, the chiefs and braves from our side 
of the Lake, remained with the Governor, who made a liberal 
distribution of goods among tbem. 

The Governor then ascertained who were chiefs on our soil, 
and gave them each a United States flag and a silver medal as 
insignias of their office, of whicb they were very proud, and 
which they were sure to display with pride and pomp on every 
appearance of white men among them. But discoverin'g that 
Hole-in-the-day was not a regular or hereditary chief, and 
feeling that his daring, bravery, and evident influence over the 
tribe, demanded recognition and reward, he elevated him to 
that rank and dig-nity, and gave him a flag and a medal in 
presence of them all, and directed that all, of any band, who 
felt disposed to do so, could join the new chief, thus forming a 
new band in the nation. Twenty-three years later, when I was 
their Agent, this was one of the strongest bands in the tribe; 
and though he was not acknowledged the head chief, yet he 
exerted a greater influence among his people, and with the 
whites, than any other chief among them. 

This great chief, with his new band, to avoid collision with 
the territory claimed by older chiefs, migrated to Gull Lake on 
the Mississippi, and occupied part of the territory between the 
Chippewas and Sioux, thus extending the Chippewa lines far- 
ther south, and becoming the frontier band of the nation in 
that direction — a position well suited to the war-like pro- 
pensities of him and his followers. The Sioux regarded this 
as a further encroachment upon their territory, and frequent 
battles ensued between them as the consequence. 

Tbe name of Hole-in-the-day became a terror to the 
Sioux, on account of his daring feats against them; and also a 
dread even among the Chippewas — so much so that no one 
dared to oppose measures upon which ,he was determined. In 
a dispute between him and the recognized head chief, he drew 
his knife across the face of that chief — a high insult in Indian 




estimation — and <jhallenge(i him to mortal combat, but the 
chief declined. 

In 1825, Grov. Cass was ordered by the Government to as- 
semble the Sioux, Chippewas, Winnebagoes, Monomonees and 
the Sauks and Foxes at Prairie Du Chien, to fix and settle 
upon the boundary lines between these respective tribes. 
There was but little trouble in doing this, except between the 
Sioux and Chippewas. This dispute was fierce, and threatened 
an open rupture between them. The Sioux claimed the coun- 
try to Lake Superior, and down it as far as Keweewenon Point, 
at least ; while the Chippewas claimed it as far south from that 
Lake as to the St. Peter's, or Minnesota, and Chippewa rivers. 
The Governor asked the Sioux upon what ground they claimed 
the country in dispute. They answered, "by possession and 
occupation from our fore-fathers as the whites would say, 
"from time immemorial." This was literally true, as far as 
our knowledge of the matter goes, for some two hundred years 
ago, the Sioux pursued and attacked their foes as far East as 
Sault St. Marie. 

But turning to the Chippewas, he asked the same question. 
Hole-in-the-day, who, by common consent, was their chief 
speaker, at once rose in his usual impetuous manner, and 
gracefully waving his right arm, said: "My father! We 
claim it upon the same ground that you claim this country 
from the British King — by conquest. We drove them from the 
country by force of arms, and have since occupied it ; and 
they cannot, and dare not, try to dispossess us of our habita- 
tions." "Then," said Cass, "you have a right to it." But to 
harmonize all differences^ as far as possible, a line was run 
between them, but the Chippewas secured "the lion's share." 

War continued between these two powerful tribes, despite 
the effort of Government troops to prevent it. In 1837, Gov. 
Dodge, of Wisconsin, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs 
on the frontier, convened the two tribes at Fort Snelling, with 
a view to settling all disputes between them, and making a 
permanent peace. They ag'reed to the terms proposed, signed 
the treaty, and the young men of the two tribes had a friendly 

392 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

game of ball on the plain outside of tlie Fort, and in sight of 
the great gathering of whites and Indians then present. They 
mutually agreed that each tribe might hunt on the neutral 
ground between them, and separated in apparent peace and 

But in April^ 1838, about nine months after this treaty was 
made, Hole-in-the-day, accompanied by his son, then about 
nine years old, and seven of his braves, were on a himt upon 
the neutral territory, where they found a lodge of Sioux, con- 
sisting of eleven persoi^s. He met them with professed friend- 
ship, and being invited, took lodging with them. But, savage- 
like, he thirsted for blood, despite the treaty he had > signed the 
summer previous. He laid his plans for the massacre of all 
in the lodge.- It was arranged for each to lie do^m by a Sioux, 
and at signal from him each vras to draw his knife, and thrust 
it into the heart of the Sioux who lay next to him. The 
place assigned the little son was by a girl about two years his 
senior. His father, in directing the affair, said to the son, "if 
you are afraid, I'll whip you f but the son affirmed his cour- 
age and determination to do as directed. 

After feasting and smoking together, they lay down for a 
night's repose, but at the signal given the nine knives were 
drawn, and nine Sioux, including the little girl, were slain in 
an instant. One woman made her escape, and one woman 
was taken prisoner, with whom the Chippewas immedi- 
fitely retreated to their own country, taking with them, of 
course, the nine scalps.* The woman who escaped soon 
reached a lodge of her own tribe, and giving notice of what 
had occurred, the news spread like ^dld-fire, and the Sious, 
far and near, were soon in arms, ready for revenge. But they 

•In Neill's History of Minnesota, pp. 454-56, we find It stated that la the 
faU of 1837, "Hole-in-the-Day, a distinguished OjibTvay Chief, father of the 
young man who now bears that name, had smoked the calumet with the 
Dahkotahs, and promised to mept them the next Spring, and make them 
presents for the privilege of hunting on their lands;" but Instead of fulfilling 
that stipulation— made, most likely, to entrap the Sioux into a fancied 
security— a party of eleven Chippewas came to the advance of three lodges of 
«loux, In the region of Lac Qui Parle. In Minnesota, composed of men. 
women and children, who killed a couple of dogs, and feasted their Chippewa 
visitors In distinguished barbarian style, and finally all laid down to Bleep. 
When all was silent, the guests arose, and killed and scalped nearly the whole 
camp, old and young, eleven In numbef ; and among those who escaped, were a 
wounded Sioux mother and her wounded boy. ^- ^- 

1869] Hole-in-the-Day 393 

hesitated from fear of that terrible chief and his indomitable 
band; and, moreover, the military at the Fort interfered to 
prevent a further effusion of blood. 

Some time in Jime of this year. Miles Vineyard, Sub- 
Agent to the Chippewas on the Upper Mississippi, arrived at 
Fort Snelling, and taking with him Quinn, his interpreter, 
and several voyagers, and gentlemen who accompanied him 
"for sight seeing," ascended the river in canoes to a point a 
short distance above Little Falls, and summoned Hole-in-the- 
day and his band to a council, and demanded the prisoner. 

In July, 1838, not knowing of this movement, I ascended 
the river to the same point, with a view to establish a mis- 
sion and school somewhere among these Indians. I found 
them in council on an Island. As is their custom, when a 
stranger arrives, aU business was suspended till the new comers 
were introduced, and the news inquired for, the burden of 
which was, whether the Sioux were coming to attack them. 
Vineyard had told them, as a reason why they should sur- 
render the prisoner, that seven himdred Sioux were actually 
on the war path, and he desired me to confirm his report. This 
I could not do; but said that I had heard of great excitement 
among the Sioux, and that they vere preparing for war, but I 
had not seen any of them. This over, they resumed business. 

I had heard so much of Hole-in-the-Day that I was 
anxious to see him. The council was in a thicket on an Island. 
The underbrush had been cut out and piled in the center, and 
perhaps fifty braves seated on the ground in the circle. The 
Agent and his attaches were seated in like manner under a tree, 
on one side of the circle, by the side of whom I, with my at- 
tendants, were assigned the place of honor, and looking in 
vain for one of distinguished appearance, I inquired of rny in- 
terpreter which was the great chief, and he pointed to the 
dirtiest, most scowling and savage looking man in the crowd, 
who w^as lying on the pile of brush in the center, as if, as I 
found to be the fact, he was alone on his side of the question 
to be settled. All others had agreed before my arrival to re- 
lease the prisoner; he alone stood out. 

394 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

As they resumed business, a dead silence occurred of some 
minutes, all waiting for his final answer. At length he rose 
up with impetuosity, as if shot out of a gun. His blanket, in- 
nocent of water since he owned it, was drawn over his left 
shoulder and round his body; his right arm swinging in the 
air, his eyes flashing like lightning, his brow scowled as if a 
thunder gust had settled on it, with his long hair literally snap- 
ping in the air from the quick motion of his head. I thought 
of Hercules, with every hair a serpent, and every serpent hiss- 
ing. He came forward, as is their custom, and shook hands 
with the Agent and all the whites present, and then stepping 
back a short distance, orator like, to give himself room for mo- 
tion, and swinging his right arm, said addressing the Agent: 

"My Father! I don't keep this prisoner out of any ill-will 
to you; nor out of ill-wiU to my Great Father at Washington; 
nor out of ill-will to these men, (gracefully waving his hand 
back and round the circle;) but I hate the Sioux. They have 
killed my relatives, and I'll have revenge. You call me chief, 
and so I am, by nature as well as oflBce, and I challenge any 
of these men, (again waving his hand towards them,) to dis- 
pute my title to it. If I am chief, then my word is law, other- 
wise you might as well put this nedal, (showing the one he 
received from Gov. Cass,) upon aji old woman." He then 
threw himself upon a pile of brush, and all was again silent 
for some minutes, no one daring to dispute him. The worst 
forebodings seemed to occupy each mind. Seven hundred 
men expected to pounce suddenly on about fifty; the dis- 
pleasure of the Agent, and consequently of the Government and 
troops in the garrison, but a few day's march from them, and 
possibly the troops would accompany the Sioux, for all felt 
that this outrage of their chief was a breach of faith and 
solemn pledges to the Government, as well as to the Sioux. 
Finally he rose again, but a little milder in manner, and said : 

"My Father! for your sake; and for the sake of these men, 
(waving his hand round the circle,) I'll give up the prisoner, 
and go myself and deliver her at the Fort." 

This was but little better than a refusal ; for all knew that 




if he showed himself at the Fort, which was within the terri- 
tory of the Sioux, he would be shot down on sight, and all 
hands set in to advise him not to go, but let the Agent take 
the prisoner home to Fort Snelling- To this he finally con- 
sented, and the Agent took the prisoner and delivered her to 
her friends. 

Finding the Indians in too much excitement to talk of a 
mission, further than to express a desire to have one when the 
war was over, and designating a point at which to have it 
located, I returned to the mission below the Fort, and from 
thence up the St. Croix. 

It was not many days, however, before this daring chief de- 
termined to visit the Fort. Four or five of his dare-devil 
braves getting wind of it, determined to accompany him, and 
if he died to die with him. So stealing away in the night, 
that the whole band should not go, they descended the river, 
and stopped at Quinn's, their interpreter, near Baker's Trad- 
ing House, about a mile from the Fort It was soon known 
among the Sioux that he was there, and two men lurked in 
the bush to get a shot at him. The chief, and his few braves, 
were in the house, and were advised to keep close. But a 
half-breed from Red River, who was also there, stepped out of 
the door; the Sioux, who were on the watch, thought he was 
their great enemy, and fired upon him wounding him in the leg. 
Hearing the report of the guns, and the groans of the wounded 
man, the men in the house rushed out, gun in hand, and see- 
ing the two Sioux running, fired upon them, both falling, one 
dead, the other mortally wounded. 

An officer who happened to be on the brow of the hill upon 
which the Fort stands, hearing the guns, and seeing the two In- 
dians fall, ran to the Fort, gave the alarm, and soon returned 
with a force sufficient to guard the bloody chief and his men to 
the Fort, where they were kept close for several days. 

In the meantime, runners were going in every direction to 
inform the Sioux, and hundreds of them were soon under 
arms, and demanded their enemy to be dealt with according to 

396 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

their laws of war. This, Major Plympton,* then in com- 
mand, refused. At this, the Sionx hecame exasperated to the 
highest pitch, declaring their determination to destroy the 
Fort, and kill or drive out of the country every white man, 
officer, soldier, trader and missionary; but were prevented 
from the attempt, chiefly by Little Crow, the father of the 
late chief of that name, who, in 1862, made war upon the 
Minnesota people. 

It must be admitted, that it was a great trial to the patience 
of the Sioux to have their enemy thus protected and fed with- 
in their own territory^ and especially under such circumstances 
of treachery and breach of treaty stipulations. Their plan 
was to attach pieces of spimk to arrows, ignite them, and shoot 
their arrows over the walls of the Fort in such a way as to 
have the points stick in the roofs of the buildings, and bring 
the ignited spunk in contact with the dry wood, and trust to 
the wind to kindle the fire. But they were prevented from 
getting within arrow reach of the walls. 

After things had quieted do^vn a little, and the scouts that 
were sent out by the Sioux to intercept the chief and his men 
in their return to their own country, had returned, Major 
Plympton sent them away between two days, putting them 
on the east bank of the river, with provisions to last them 
home, and strict orders not to venture there again till peace 
was restored. 

Meantime war parties were out on both sides, and several 
severe battles were fought, and many men, women and chil- 
dren were killed. The Chippewas suffering the most, all 
growing out of the treacherous act of this daring chief, which, 
fio far as I could learn, was his only act of perfidy of the kind. 

My next meeting with IIole-in-the-Day, was in the fall of 
1843, at La Pointe, on Lake Superior, where I was Indian 

•Joseph Plympton. a native of Massachusetts, entered the army as a Second 
Lieutenant, in January, 1821, served durin? tlie v/ar of 1812-15. reaching 
a First Lieutenant; was promoted to Captain in 1821. and Major in 1840; 
served with distinction durins: the Florida war, commanding In an attack on 
the Semlnoles, near Dunn's Lalie, January 25. 1842 ; was promoted to Lieu- 
tenant Colonel in September, 1846, and served at the head of his regiment 
during' the Mt-xiean war, under Oea. S^-otr, distintruisliin;? himself at the battles 
of Cerro Gordo and Contreras, for which he was brevetted Colonel. L. C. D. 




Agent, and made them their first payment after they sold out 
the Copper Region. There were 5,037 of all the bands, parties 
to the treaty, and participants in the payment ; and, though 
fiole-in-the-Day was not recognized as head chief of the tribe, 
yet it was evident, that his influence exceeded that of any other 
chief among them. He displayed the skill of a general, and 
the wisdom of a statesman. One or two incidents will show 
his characteristic traits on these matters. 

In the winter preceding this payment, I was informed of a • 
conspiracy, gotten up by the Canadian half-breeds, who, being 
chagTined because they were not included in the treaty and 
payments, to capture the vessel — ^the only one on that Lake at 
that time — on her way up with the money and goods for the 
payment, and run her into a harbor on the north side of the 
Lake, divide the money and goods, and disperse to parts un- 
known, leaving the vessel and crew to return at their leisure; 
all to be done before Government troops on either shore could 
be rallied to their relief. The plan was to board the vessel by 
cance in a calm, and to have different parties at diflerent 
points, so that if no calm occurred at one point, it might at an- 

As a matter of precaution, at my request, a guard of twenty- 
five men was sent from the Fort at St Mary's. The conspira- 
tors, who had their spies out, seeing this, were deterred from 
making the attack, but they came to the payment, several hun- 
dred strong, and encamped near the pay ground. 

Hole-in-the-Day had heard of this conspiracy, and seeing 
the conspirators on the ground, was on the alert watching their 
movements ; and about midnight of the second day of the 
gathering, saw them assembling at a tent, and stealing up near 
enough to hear them, learned their plans. The goods had been 
landed and stored in a Fur Company's ware-house, quite out 
of their reach. But the money was in the stem of the vessel 
for safe keeping, till needed for distribution. The soldiers 
were quartered on board. The vessel was moored to the 
wharf. The only way to which, from the land, was through a 
ware-house in which a lamp was hung by night, and a senti- 

398 Wisconsin Historical Collections [toLv 

nel placed both day and night. Their plan of attack was by 
canoes; to overcome the guard, seize the vessel, hoist sail, aad 
avail themselves of the land breeze which always blows in the 
night in calm or moderate weather, and put for Canada with 
the money. 

On being informed of this, I roused up the officers who doub- 
led the guard, and found that Hole-in-the-Day, before he in- 
formed me of the affair, had over a hundred of his men un- 
der arms, and had surrounded the ware-house containing the 
goods, and was guarding the way to the vessel; and finding 
themselves thus headed o£F, the conspirators desisted from 
their piratical purpose. 

The next morning they were summoned to meet the 
charge; they of course denied it. But Hole-in-the-Day 
confronted them; told what they said, and who said it; and 
others also affirmed the truth of his story. Finding they 
were detected and convicted, they confessed, and begged for 
mercy, assigned as the reason for their conduct, their ex- 
clusion from the payment, and hoped their friends would re- 
member them with presents when they received their pay- 
ment. Under these circumstances, and their promises to be- 
have themselves, they were allowed to remain on the Island. 
They had no earthly right to share in the payment. They 
lived in Canada, and had no claim whatever upon the lands sold. 

Another incident showed his thoughtfulness and statesman- 
ship. I proposed to the Chippewa a few simple laws for the 
government of their affairs. One was, not to pay for the depre- 
dations committed by individuals out of the common funds of 
the tribe; but to make the wrong-doer pay the damage out of 
his own money or goods. This would make him feel the 
effects of his own evil doings, much more than if the damage 
was paid out of the common fund, and all bore it equally. 

Hole-in-the-Day came to me privately to inquire about the 
bearings of such a law, showing a strong legislative tact and 
ability ; and when informed to his satisfaction, he espoused the 
cause and the law was unanimously adopted. Two claims 
for damages of this nature were thus paid ; the effect of which 




was to make each one more cautious, when tempted to do wron,i>, 
knowing that if he did so, his own individual funds would be 
made to pay for it, and not the funds of innocent parties. 

I also urged upon them the importance and propriety of 
cultivating the soil, each for himself, and allowing individual 
rights, where improvements were made; and as the Govern- 
ment had provided them with a farmer to instruct them in ag- 
riculture, to avail themselves of his instruction; and by doing 
as the whites do in such matters, they could live as the whites 
do. Of these matters he also inquired, and declared his inten- 
tion to follow my advice. To do this, he first selected a site 
at Gull Lake, but afterwards, as I was informed, moved to an- 
other place, where he made quite a farm, built houses, bams, 
&c., which is probably the one occupied by his son, the late 
Hole-in-the-Day, who was recently shot and killed by some 
of his own tribe. 

ITature did much for this elder chief, as also for the younger 
one. Had old Hole-in-the-Day been favored with an edu- 
cation, he would have been distinguished among the great 
men of the world. Like his own people, and too many of 
the white race, he loved "the fire water," fell into habits of in- 
temperance, and was thrown from a cart or wagon when intoxi- 
cated, and killed, in 1847. 

The little Chippewa boy who killed the Sioux girl, in April, 
1838, was thus entitled, according to their custom to 
wear a large eagle's quill or feather fastened to his hair, as a 
recognition that he had taken an enemy's scalp; and thus 
he became a brave and sat in council with the braves of the 
band; and no one strutted, or seemed to feel his consequence, 
more than he did. If I am not mistaken, this was Hole-in- 
the-Day's oldest son; and, if not the oldest, as least his 
favorite, whom he intended to succeed him in the chieftaincy 
of his band. Hole-in-the-Day promised, in 1838, to let me 
have him the next year to educate; but not returning. I did 
not secure him as a pupil. If I am not mistaken, this was 
the late chief of that name, who succeeded his father, and fell 
by the assassins' hand- 

400 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.r 

Gen. Cass relates an interesting incident of whicli tlie hero was a Sioux Chief 
whose name, unfortunately, is not preserved. "The Chippewas and Sioux," says 
Gen. Cass, "are hereditary enemies, and Charlevoix says they were at war when 
the French first reached the Mississippi. I endeavored, when among them, to 
learn the cause which first excited them to war, and the time when it com- 
menced. But they can give no rational account. An intelligent Chippewa Chief 
Informed me that the disputed boundary between them was a subject of little 
importance, and that the question respecting it could be easily adjusted. Ho 
appeared to think that they fought because their fathers fought before them. 
This war has been waged with various success, and, in its prosecution, in- 
stances of courage and self-devotion have occurred, within a few years, which 
would not have disgraced the pages of Grecian or Roman history. Some years 
since, mutually weary of hostilities, the Chiefs of both nations met. and agreed 
upon a truce. But the Sioux, disregarding the solemn compact which they 
had formed, and actuated by some sudden impulse, attacked the Chippewas, and 
murdered a number of them. Ba-be-si-kun-dab-i, the Chippewa Chief, who 
descended the Mississippi with us [In 1820], was present upon this occasion, 
and his life was saved by the intrepidity and self-devotion of a Sioux Chief. 
This man entreated, and remonstrated, and threatened. He urged his coun- 
trymen, by every motive, to abstain from any %iolation of their faith, and 
when he found his remonstrances useless, he attached himself to this Chippewa 
Chief, and avowed his determination of saving, or perishing with him. Awed 
by his intrepidity, the Sioux finally agreed that he should ransom the Chip- 
pewa, and he accordingly applied to this object all the property he owned. He 
then accompanied the Chippewa on his journey, until he considered him safe 
from any parties of the Sioux who might be dlsrposed to follow him." 

This noted Chippewa Chief, whom Schoolcraft calls Ke-che-Ba-be-se-gun-dlb-a, 
or Big Curl]/ Head, was at the head of the lower and more hardy bands of th» 
Chippewas, and three times had led his warriors successfully against the Sioux, 
and each time returned with bloody knives and reeking scalps. He and Flat 
Mouth led the Chippewas in the noted fight at Long Prairie. Big Curly Head 
has been aptly spoken of, as the vanguard or bulwark of his tribe. 

In an interesting paper on the traditional history of the Chippewas, 1)7 
Wm. W. Warren, an educated descendant of that nation, given In the 2d vol. 
of Schoolcraft's History of the Indian Tril)ea, some notice is given of Bug-on-a- 
ke-ghlg, the elder Hole-In-the-day and his elder brother Song-uk-um-eg, or 
Strong Ground. Bug-on-a-ke-shig, says Warren, literally means hole-in-the-sky ; 
and the war-song of this chief was addressed to this guardian spirit, seen 
through a hole in the 8ky. These two brothers, Strong Ground and Hole-ln-th»- 
day, were in their youth, pipe bearers of Curly Head, and waited on him till 
the day of his death, which was on the road returning from the treaty at 
Prairie Du Chien, in 1825, which both Big Curly Head and Hole-in-the-day 
signed ; and Just before the old Chief expired, he counselled these two young 
men on their future course of life, and left In their charge his Mississippi 
bands, and this circumstance laid the foundation of the Chieftainship of theee 
two afterwards noted brothers. 

In the words of one of the principal Chippewas : "Big Curly Head was a 
father to our fathers, who looked on him as a parent : His lightest wish was 
quickly obeyed: His lodge was ever hung with meat: The traders vied with each 
other who should treat him best : His hand was open, and when he had plenty, 
our fathers wanted not." He was noted not only for his charity and goodness 
of heart, but also for the strength of it for bravery and heroic adventure. 

Such was the character of Big-Curly-Head, who early led forth young Strong 
Ground and Hole-In-the-Day on the war-path, and Instructed them In all the 
precepts and wisdom of his people. These young chiefs distinguished them- 
selves In the warfare of their tribe with the Sioux, and by their deeds of valor 

1869] Holc-in-the-Day 401 

obtained an extensive influence over their fellows of the Mississippi. By their 
repeated and telling blows, aided by others, they forced the Sioux to fall back 
from the woods on to their Western prairies, and eventually altogether to 
evacuate that portion of their former country lying north of Sac River, and 
Bouth and east of Leaf River, to the Mississippi. 

In the language of Warren, their educated countryman, they earned, during 
their short career, e, name that will long be remeinbered among their people. 
Strong Ground was as fine a specimen of an Indian as ever proudly trod the 
soil of America. He was one of those honor-loving chiefs, not only by name, 
but by nature also. He was noted for his unflinching bravery, generosity, and 
solidity or firmness ; the last of which is a rare quality in the Indian, among 
whom not more ti-an one out of ten is possessed of any firmness of character. 
As an instance of his daring, on one occasion, he fought singly, by the side of 
a mounted comrade, with seven tsioux, and repulsed them with loss. His 
first fight was, when a mere boy. at Long Prairie battle. Again, he was present 
at an attack on a Sioux camp at Poplar Grove, on Long Prairie, where the 
Chippewas killed many of their foes. At another time, he led a night attack 
on a Sioux camp on Crow River. At Round Prairie, also, he with an Ottawa, 
cut off. from a large Sioux camp, three boys while they were sliding on the ice, 
In plain view of their friends. He was one of the Chippewas who dispatched 
the four Sioux prisoners surrendered by Col. Snelling in the autumn of 1826. 
He was present on many other occasions that tried the man's heart. He died 
but a few years anterior to the publication of Mr. Warren's sketch — which 
appeared in 1852 — at about the age of forty-eight. 

Hole-in-the-Day, his younger brother, continues Warren, was equally brave at 
the moment of trial, but some of his contemporary warriors say of him, that 
his extreme bravery did not last. "At the moment of excitement, he could have 
thrown himself into the fire." These are the words of one of his noted braves 
who often fought at his side. He had not the firmness of his brother Strong 
Ground, but was more cunning, and soon came to understand the policy of 
the whites perfectly. He was ambitious, and, through his cunning, stepped 
above his more straight-forward brother, and became head-chief. He was a 
proud and domineering spirit, and loved to be implicitly obeyed. He had a 
quick and impatient temper. A spirit like this is little calculated to be loved 
and obeyed by the free wild sons of the forest, who love liberty too well to 
become the slaves of any man. Hole-in-the-Day was "more feared than loved 
by his bands, and had it not been for the strong support of his more influential 
brother, he could never have been really chief over his people. 

On one occasion, he turned out and dispersed a whole camp of his fellows 
with a wooden paddle. The Indians were drinking liquor, and fighting among 
themselves, after he had twice ordered them to drink in quiet. He struck with 
his paddle promiscuously, and on tnis single occasion mortally offended some 
of his best warriors. Notwithstanding his harsh and haughty temper, there 
was in the breast of this man much of the milk of human kindness ; and he 
had that way about him that induced the few who really loved him, to be will- 
ing even to die for him. 

During his life-time, he distinguished himself in eight different fights, where 
blood was freely shed. At St. Peters, he was almost mortally wounded — a bul- 
let passing through his right breast, and coming out near the spine. On thii 
occasion, his daughter was killed ; and from this time can be dated the blood- 
thirstiness with which he ever after pursued his enemies. He had married a 
daughter of Bi-aus-wah, a chief so distinguished among the Chippewas. that 
he may be said to have laid the foundation of a dynasty of chieftalndom, which 
has descended to his children, and the benefits of which they are reaping after 

His bravery was fully proved by his crossing the Mississippi, and with but 
two brave comrades, firing on the large Sioux village of Ka-po-sia, below the 
mouth of the St Peters. They narrowly escaped the general chase that was 
made for them by many Sioux warriors, crossing the Mississippi under a shower 
of bullets. There is nothing In modem warfare to surpass this daring ex- 
ploit. L- C. D. 

40 2 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.v 

Death of Hole-in-the-Day 

[From the St. Paul Press, June 30, 1868.] 

We received yesterday a telegram from St, Cloud announcing 
the fact that Hole-in-the-Day, the famous head chief of the 
Mississippi Chippewas, as he assumed to be, and the bravest 
warrior, had been assassinated by three of the Pillager Band 
of Chippewas. We have since received the following particu- 
lars of the manner of his death: 

On Saturday last, between two and three o'clock in the af- 
ternoon, three Chippewas, of the Leech Lake or Pillager In- 
dians, called at his house, and asked where he was. His 
woman replied that he had gone to Crow Wing. The Indians 
appropriated three of his guns and went to Gull River, a short 
distance above Crow Wing. They saw him and another In- 
dian coming, riding in a buggy, and hid in the bushes on a 
knoll by the road-side. 

As the buggy passed them and went down the slope, they 
fired at the back of the foe they feared to face, all their charges 
takiTig effect in their victim. The other Indian sprang out of 
the buggy and fled, when these Indians dragged Hole-in-the- 
Day to the ground, and, to make sure work, stabbed him in 
several places. They then took the horse and buggy, and made 
their eccape. 

The dead body of the chief was first discovered by Mr. 
Charles A. Rufiee, who is now at the Chippewa Agency. 

We are not apprised of the motives which induced this assas- 
sination of Hole-in-the^Day ; but it may perhaps be attribut- 
ed to an old jealousy of Hole-in-the-Day, which the Pillag- 
ers have especially entertained toward him on account of his 
assumption, of being the head chief of the Mississippi bands of 
Chippewas — pretension which they by no menas tolerated, 
for the reason that they regarded the honors of that mythical 
royalty as belonging more legitimately to their own chief. 


H o 1 e-i n- th e-D ay 


Hole-in-tlie-Day was regarded by them as a parvenu — a 
kind of usurper — but bis pretensions bave always been sup- 
ported with so mucb boldness, and be bas won sucb pre-emi- 
nence as a warrior, that tbey bave not heretofore dared openly 
to contest bis position. Xo doubt tbis old jealousy bas been 
fanned by recent circumstances. Hole-in-tbe-Day bas been 
accustomed to play a conspicuous part in all treaty negotia- 
tions witb tbe Mississippi Cbippewas, and from long practice 
bad become a cunniiig and unscrupulous intriguer, skilled in 
all tbe mysteries of Indian diplomacy. He was tbe leading 
spirit in tbe recent treaties for new reservations made witb 
that tribe, and probably some discontent of tbe Pillagers, on 
tbis account, may bave instigated tbe assault — tbougb, for that 
matter, Hole-in-tbe-Day bas bad private quarrels enough on 
his bands any day for many years to have killed a hundred 
other men. Hole-in-tbe-Day was in some respects one of 
the most extraordinary characters in Indian history. 

There was sometbinsr almost romantic in bis reckless daring 
on the war path. He was tbe Chippewa Cid, or Cceur de 
Lion, from tbe gleam of whose battle-axe whole armies of 
Saracen Sioux fled as before an irresistible fate. His exploits 
would fill a book. His father, of tbe same name, was a great 
warrior, who bas conquered tbe chief ship of bis tribe by bis 
bravery in combat, and bis wisdom in council. The old chief, 
Hole-in tho Day, was killed in 1847, while crossing Flat 
river in a Red river cart. 

The first appearance of the younger Hole-in-the^Day in 
public council was at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, July, 1847. 
At that time the Upper Country of the Mississippi, extending 
to Lake Superior, was owned, by the Cbippewas of Lake Su- 
perior and the Cbippewas of the Mississippi. The Cbippe- 
was of Lake Superior were represented in force. The Cbippe- 
was of tbe Mississippi, headed by Hole-in-the Day, owing to 
the great distance tbey bad to travel, bad but a small deleora- 
tion in attendsjice. Hole-in-tbe-Day was late in reaching tbe 
council ground. 

Prior to bis coming^ several talks were held with the In- 

404 Wisconsin Historical Collections [toi. v 

dians, in wliich they admitted that they had allowed Hole-in- 
the-Days father to take the lead in their councils, but said 
that were he then ali^e they would make him take a back seat; 
that his son was a mere boy, and were he there he would have 
nothing to say; consequently it was useless to wait for him. 
The commissioners, who were our fellow citizens, Hon. Henry 
M. Ri:e, and Issac A. • Yerplanck, of Buffalo, however, 
thought differently, and waited. After the arrival of Hole- 
in-the-Day, the council wus formally opened. The Com- 
missioners stated their business, and requested a reply from 
the Indians. Hole-in- the-D ay was led up to the stand by 
two of his braves and made a speech to which all the Indians 
present gave hearty and audible assent. The change in the 
face of things at the appearance of Hole-in-the-Day showed 
his bravery and commanding influence, but was also somewhat 
amusing. Here were powerful chiefs of all the Chippewa 
tribes, some of them seventy or eighty years old, who, before 
his coming, spoke snecringly of him as a boy who could have 
no voice in the council, saying there was no use in waiting for 
him, but when he appeared, they became his most submissive 
and obedient subjects; and this in a treaty in which a million 
acres of land were ceded. 

The terms of the treaty were concluded between the Com- 
missiocers and younff Hole-in-the-Day alone. The lattor, 
after this was done, withdrew and sent word to the chiefs of 
the Mississippi and Lake Superior bands to go and sign it 
After it had been duly signed by the Commissioners, the chief 
head men and warriors, and witnessed by the interpreters and 
other persons present, Hole-in-the-Day, who had not been 
present at those little formalities, called upon the Commission- 
ers, with two of his attendant chiefs, and had appended to the 
treaty the following words: 

"Fathers: The country onr Great Father sent you to 
purchase belongs to me. It was once my father's. He took 
it from the Sioux. He, by his bravery, made himself the 
head chief of the Chippewa nation. I am a greater man than 



my father was, for I am as brave as lie was, and on my moth- 
er's side I am hereditaiy head chief of the nation. The land 
you want belongs to me. If I say sell, our Great Father will 
have it. If I say not seU, he will do without it. These In- 
dians that you see behind me have nothing to say about it. 

"I approve of this treaty and consent to the same. Fond 
du Lac, August 3d, 1847. 

"Po-go-ne-shib:, or 
"HoLE-iN-THE Day, his X mark." 

He inherited the traits of his father, who was noble, gener- 
ous and brave — ^but treacherous as well. His father once enter- 
tained several chiefs, and the same night while they were sleep- 
ing in his lodge, murdered them. Young Hole-in-the-Day 
was jealous of a yoimg half-breed, a man of education. On a 
certain occasion this half-breed called upon Hole-in-the-Day 
and remarked about a fine pistol the latter possessed. The 
chief replied, ^'Would you like to see it?" and handed it to- 
ward the half-breed, when it went off and killed him. It is 
believed that the shooting was not purely accidental. 

Hole-in-the-Day made a treaty in 1854 in which the In- 
dian country was divided between the Chippewas of Lake Su- 
perior and the Chippewas of the Mississippi. Since then his 
influence has been principally among the Chippewas of the 
Mississippi. He has made many other treaties, and his in- 
fluence in Indian affairs was prominent. 

He made his influence in negotiations tell to his own per- 
sonal advantage, and he managed, it is said, to extort very con- 
siderable sums as the price of his favor. He spent with pro- 
fusion, for he was as great a prodigal as he was a warrior. 
Disdaining the humble bark wigwams of his tribe, he lived in 
a good house near Crow Wing, and kept horses, and sur- 
rounded himself, while his means lasted, with luxuries. He 
kept posted in the affairs of the j^ation by taking the St. Paul 
Press, of which he was a regular subscriber, and other papers, 
which he had read to him by an interpreter on every day of 
their arrival. He had the proverbial Indian coolness. 

4o6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

On the occasion of his first ride on the cars — the train going 
at the rate of forty miles an hour — he vra.s asked what he 
thought of rail-roads. He replied that they were about as lie 
expected, but that they did not go as fast as he supposed. 

Hole-in-the-Day was about forty years of age. He was, 
like all his tribe w^ho can afford the expensive luxury, a po- 
lygamist; and in the course of his life has had several Indian 
wives, successively,' and at the same time. His last wife, for 
whose sake he abandoned his seraglio, is a white woman whom 
lie encountered and married a year or two ago on one of his 
frequent trips to Washington. One of his daughters was edu- 
cated at the Catholic school in this city. He was in the city a 
few weeks ago, and left with a friend a statement of the man- 
ner in which the Indians had been treated by the Government 
agents — a sure sign that Hole-in-the-Day's treasury needed 
replenishing. We might fill columns with narratives of the 
exploits in which Hole-in-the-Day figured as the hero, but 
we postpone tliis to another time. 

Murder of Hole-in-the-Day 

[From the St. Cloud Journal, July 9, 1868.] 
Mr. A. D. Prescott, who has been connected with the ad- 
ministration of afFairs at Chippewa Agency for several years 
past, arrived in town yesterday evening from the Agency. He 
was there at the time Hole-in-the-Day was killed, and says 
that all the reports of the affair published thus far are more or 
less incorrect. From ^Ir. Prescott we obtain the following, 
which is in. every particular authentic: 

On the forenoon of June 27th, Hole-in-the-Day came to 
the Agency from his home some two miles above. He was in 
a handsome, light one-horse buggy, and with him was another 
Chippewa, named Ojibbewa. They remained a short time, 
and then went down to Crow Wing, stopping at the latter 
place until half -past one o'clock. 




Shortly after Hole-in-the-Day had left the Agency for 
Crow Wing, a party of nine Pillager Indians, from Leech 
Lake, came, and after inquiring of Mr. Prescott the where- 
abouts of Major Bassett, the Agent, they repaired to a wig- 
wam, and asked a squaw where Hole-in-the Day was. In a 
short time they, too, started for Crow Wing, and reaching a 
dense thicket about two-thirds of a mile below the Agency, 
they secreted themselves. Here they awaited the return of the 
chief. Just after he had passed, or was passing their am- 
bush, they stepped forth to the rear and at the sides of the 
buggy, and within eight feet of it. One of the party fired both 
barrels of a shot-gun, the charges taking effect in Hole-in-the 
Day's head and neck. He never spoke, but, with a groan, feU 
from the buggy dead. Another of the party stepped up and 
discharged a load of shot through the prostrate form from side 
to side, in the region of the heart; while another stabbed it in 
the left breast. The body was then dragged to the side of the 
road, and after being robbed of hat, blanket, and a gold watch 
worth $250, left there. The party then took the horse and 
buggy, with Ojibbeway, who had been made a temporary 
prisoner at the out-set, (and from whose lips Mr. Prescott ob- 
tained these facts,) and started for Hole-in-the-Day's house 
by a back way, so as not to expose themselves to the Agency. 
This was their first appearance at the chiefs house. They 
told his wives that they had killed him, and that they intended 
taking what they wanted. Accordingly they supplied them- 
selves with guns, saddles, shawls, blankets, &c. ^To violence 
was offered to any one except Hole-in-the-Day' s white wife. 
One of the party stepped up to her, and laid his hand on her 
shoulder and said she must go with him. But Ojibbewa 
interfered, and said if they touched a white person they would 
call the wrath of all the whites upon them. This proved 
effectual, and, after taking another horse, the party decamped 
for Leech Lake, where their band is located. 

There were no chiefs with the party, which was composed 
of worthless members of the Pillager Band. Various reasons 
are assigned for the murder, and it is impossible to tell which 

4o8 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.r 

is correct. Who will succeed as chief is not yet known — ^most 
probably bis son. Our readers will be kept fully posted in 
any further developments that may occur. Matters in the In- 
dian country are quiet, and no trouble is apprehended 

Hole-in-the-Day was buried in the Catholic cemetery at 
Crow Wing, with the Stars and Stripes floating over his grave. 

Additional Note on Hole-in-the-Day 

We learn from Neill's History of Minnesota, that on the afternoon of Maj 
16th, 1850, a number of naked and painted Sioux braves were seen hurrylnf 
through the streets of St. Paul, ornamented with all the attire of war. and 
panting for the scalps of their enemies. A few hours before, the youthful and 
war-like head chief of the Chippewas, Hole-in-the-Day, having secreted hit 
canoe In the retired gorge which leads to the cave, in the upper suburbs, with 
two or three associates, had crossed the river, and, almost in sight of the 
citizens of the town, had attacked a small party of Sioux, and murdered and 
BCftlped one man. To appease the Sioux, Gov. Ramsay granted a parole to 
several of the Sioux then confined at Fort SnelUng for participating In a 
previous massacre of whites, 

A correspondent of the New York Tribune writing from St. Paul, early In 
1851, thus speaks of this daring exploit of the young Chippewa chief : "Young 
Hole-in-the-Day is about twenty-four or twenty-five years old, well formed, with 
a thoughtful and even melancholy expression of countenance. He Is said to 
be exceedingly ambitious, and utterly regardless of danger. Last spring, 
merely to show his daring, he crossed the river a short distance above St. 
Paul, with but a single attendant, killed and scalped a Sioux almost within 
sight of one of their villages ; then recrossing, he made but very little haste to 
rejoin his tribe, although pursued by a large body of Sioux, whom he suffered 
to pass him, and while they were employed in searching for him, he took oc- 
casion to amuse himself by engaging In the war-dance !" 

Governor Ramsay soon after convened a council of the Chippewas and Slonx 
at Fort Snelling, and made an earnest effort to bring about a peace between 
those belligerent tribes — which was easily effected, so far as fair promises wer« 
concerned, as had been done many times before, and only to be broken on th« 
Urst convenient opportunity. During the conference the Sioux, on one orcaalon, 
left the council en 7Ha9se— having taken umbrage at the presence of lndl«« 
there, saying "they thought they were to meet Chippewas, not women." noi#. 
In-the-Day adroitly turned the matter to his own advantace. sa.-ini?. Terj- 
politely, ''that he teas happy to see so many sweet tcomen there, att'l thut r»i'K 
were all vselcome, xcith their angelic smiles, to a seat on his' side of th^ 
The ladies, however, chose to withdraw, the young Chippewa chief ^i^si-r-f 
each one cordially by the hand. The Sioux now returned, and the confer^cf* 
was resumed. . 

We next hear of Hole-ln-the-Day during the winter of 1850-'ol, when d« 
made a visit to St. Paul, to represent the suffering condition of his pi?op.fc 
He addressed the Legislature In relation to the wants of the Chlppew.n*. ir.a 
also made a speech at the Presbyterian Church, which attracted a irreat crowd. 
He, In true Indian style, narrated the sufferings of his people, and 
the Inimitable manner of his race; and a committee was appointed to 
subscriptions and contributions for their relief. Despite these humane effort*, 
hunger is said, during the winter, to have driven some of these poor peop • 
to cannibalism. # n ^ 

The Prairie Du Chlen Courier, of March 25th, 1858, furnishes us the fo.ioir- 
ing paragraph: "Hole-in-the-Day, the celebrated Chippewa chief, the Bav»f» 




who has seven wives, and the hero of the whiskey duel which created the most 
intense excitement throughout the North-West, has been honoring our city 
with his presence for several days past. He is a splendid specimen of man- 
hood, well proportioned, and walks with a grace that would become a Roman 
Emperor in the palmy days of Rome. He was dres'sed in the latest style, and 
appeared to feel his oats' pretty well. The other day he purchased no less 
than thirty-two pairs of women's shoes. During his late sojourn at Washing- 
ton, he imbibed a contempt for moccasins, and is determined that his squawa 
shall resemble white women in some respects. The chief is said to be a 
perfect savage, having slain several men ; but be that as it may, he Is the 

Gentle mannered cut-throat 
That ever scuttled ship !' 
and If ever he did take a scalp, we are sure he did it with such a grace, that 
his victim must have thanked him for his polite manner of executing that 
savage accomplishment. He went up the river on Monday." 

In the autumn of 1865, it was said of him in the newspapers, that he was 
at that time one of the solid men of Minnesota, so far as money goes ; that he 
had a splendid farm of one mile square, with a comfortable dwelling, situated 
about two miles above the Chippewa Agency, a large stock of horses and cattle, 
and an income of $3,000 a year, free from income tax ; that he was loyal to ~ 
the Union, and regretted that the Government did not accept his offer to 
raise a battalion of Chippewas, and lead them forth upon the war-path to aid 
In fighting the battles of the Union ; and that he had Just been visiting St. 
Paul, sitting to an artist for a life-size portrait. 

About this period, his large framed dwelling house was burned to the ground, 
and the Government gave him some $6,000 as a compensation for his loss. 
Hole-in-the-Day contented himself with re-placing his lost dwelling with a com- 
fortable log-house ; and expended the money Government gave him principally 
In the purchase of stock, turning his attention largely to that branch of agri- 
culture. He had a dozen head of good horses, and put in quite large crops on 
his farm. 

It is related, that if there is any one thing that an Indian dreads more than 
another, it is our modern appliances for travel. This was exemplified, in the 
winter of 1865-66, when Hole-in-the-Day. and his sub-chiefs were on their 
way to Washington. Arrived at that wonderful structure, the Suspension Bridge, 
over the Niagara River, just below the Falls, they were opposed to risking 
their precious lives upon any such contrivance, preferrng to cross the foaming, 
boiling surge in a canoe. But they were compelled to follow the fortunes in 
the car ; and so they made their preparations for bidding farewell to earth and 
friends. They threw themselves flat upon the bottom of the cars, rolled them- 
selves up in their blankets, and groaned hideously and incessantly until they 
were fairly upon terra firma again. L. C. D. 

4IO Wisconsin Historical Collections [toi. v 

Gen. Cass at St. Marie 1820 

As an appropriate appendage to Gen. Ellis' sketch, of Gov. 
Doty, and Rev. Dr. Bmnson's paper on Hole-in-the-Day, 
we give the following incident, referred to in those narratives 
and which we take from the Milwaukee Wisconsi7i of Sept. 11, 
1855, relating to Gov. Cass' expedition, in 1820, to Lake Su- 
perior, and the Upper Mississippi, of which Gov. Doty was 
one of the party: 

At the Sault, an important incident occurred, which illus- 
trated the true courage of Gen. Cass. He certainly exhibited 
fce most lofty traits in this calm fearlessness in the midst of 
imminent danger. Such a history puts to flight all political 
fables about his destitution of courage. The author is the ed- 
itor of the Toledo Blade, a political opponent. He obtained 
the facts on the recent excursion of the Planet, from C. C. 
Trowbridge, of Detroit, who was one of the batteaux party, 
thirty-five years ago: 

Upon arriving at the Sault Ste Marie, the party entered into 
negotiations with, the Chippewa Indians for the purchase of 
a piece of land upon which the garrison now stands. The lav- 
ish expenditure of British money in the annual presentation 
of gifts to the natives, and the niggardly policy of our Govern- 
ment towtcrd them, had inspired the Indians with respect for 
the one nation, and contempt for the other. The war, then 
lately closed, had increased British influence to our injury, 
and the presence of a British garrison on the Canadian side of 
the river, was a fountain of bad counsel to the Red Men, and 
a place of safety in case of need. The feelings, therefore, of 
the Indians were not friendly towards this expedition, and the 
enterprise was one of great danger. 

Gen. Cass invited the ckiefs to his tent, in the center of 


H ole-in-the-Day 


which was a pile of tobacco, a part of which was to be smoked 
on the occasion, and the residue presented to the Indians at 
the close of the council. The chiefs appeared en costume sans 
culottes, sans everything save the ''breech cloth." The leader,* 
a tall, muscular fellow of thirty years, with the devil in his 
ugly face, was an exception. He wore, beside the breech cloth, 
a single eagle's feather, gTacefully attached to the top of his 
head, a red coat with narrow skirts, and two gold epaulets of 
a British Major General. ''Uncle Sam'' dispensed no such 
favors to his red children. Gov. Cass explained the object of 
his mission to be the cultivation of friendship between them 
and their deadly Sioux enemies, and also between all the red 
children and their Great Father, the President. To this end our 
Government had planted military posts among the Sioux on 
the Mississippi, and ^visEed to do the same at that point. The 
Governor also explained that, although by the treaty of Green- 
ville, the territory at the Sault belonged to us — it having previ- 
ously been purchased of their fathers, once by the great King of 
the Way-we-te-go-che, or Frenchmen, and subsequently by the 
Sagonash, or Englishmen — yet he was willing to pay them 
also for what he wished, a parcel four miles square. 

The chiefs were surly and taciturn, and argument and coax- 
ing were of no avail, and Governor Cass was compelled to tell 
them, that as sure as the sun should rise on the morrow, so 
surely would their Father the President establish the proposed 
military post. The Governor advised them to listen to friendly 
counsel, and avail themselves of the last opportunity for ob- 
taining compensation. Here the Governor paused for a reply, 
and ordered his interpreter, William Riley, to light the pipe. 
Having smoked thereof, it was offered to the chief, who re- 
fused it, and committed the grossest political insult known to 
the savage code, by kicking over the pile of tobacco, and rush- 
ing out with his train of chieftains. 

The Indians walked rapidly up the river about half a mile, 

•Sas-sa-ba was the name of this chief: see Smith's Life and Times of Gm. 
Cass, p. 128. Having? lost a brother v/ho fou-ht uuder Teciiraseh, at the 
Thames, he ever after cherished an implacable enmity agrainst the Americans. 
He was accidently drowned, while under the Influence of liquor, near Sault 
8te. Marie, September 25, 1822. L- C. D. 

412 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.y 

to a rising graund where their lodges were erected, and im- 
mediately hoisted in front of their camp, a large British flag. 
This act was reported to Gov. Cass, who, upon the instant, 
commanding none to accompany him save the interpreter, 
walked rapidly into the camp of these excited and now deadly 
savage Eed Men, seized the British flag, threw it upon the 
ground, broke the staff, and ordering the interpreter to roll up 
the flag and carry it to the Governor's camp, and told the Ind- 
ians that if they dared to repeat the insult, he would fire upon 
them. The Indians stood amazed at the daring of the Gov- 
ernor, thus alone to enter their camp, and thus to threaten 
them, as the entire force of his expedition consisted of eleven 
soldiers, twelve Canadian voyageurs, nine friendly Indians, a 
suite of eight, and a small escort to that point of twenty-five 
soldiers, imder Lieut. John Pierce. 

In ten minutes from the time Governor Cass with such fear- 
lessness carried from the camp of these warriors the flag, every 
woman and child, and their tent equipage, were on their 
way in hark canoes from the Indian camp towards the British 
fort across the river, and Geo. Johnston informed the Gover- 
nor that an attack on the coming night w^as planned hy the 
furious warriors. Of the nine friendly Indians — all save one 
noble fellow — surrendered their arms, and resolved to remain 
neutral. The suite buckled on their belts, and armed to the 
leeth, were out with their small band of soldiers, as dark a 
night as ever dragged its weary hours, in momentary expc-cta- 
tion of the scalping knife and tomahawk of a numerically su- 
perior force of deadly savages, fired by hatred, and by the cer- 
tainty of crushing their mortal foe at a blow. Day dav.Tied 
after a sleepless night, and this band of brave men were spared 
a scene which would inevitably have cost many lives. 

It was subsequently ascertained that a deliberate plan had 
been formed for the massacre of every one of Gov. Cass' party 
upon its entrance into the country, and that several hundred 
warriors were within call near the Sault at the time of the 
council, for tha.t purpose. This plan was thwarted, in part, by 
the daring bravery of Gov. Cass, on the occasion of his peril- 




ous visit to their camp, and particularly tlirough the efforts of 
Mrs. Johnston, mother of Geo. Johnston, iind daughter of the 
Great Chief of Lake Superior — ^who passed the whole of that 
fearful night with the hostile chiefs in unremitted efforts to 
dissuade them from their blood-thirsty resolution. From a 
very interesting daily journal of that remarkable canoe ex- 
pedition along the hunting grounds of untameable savages, 
kept by Mr. Trowbridge, we copy an entry made on the morn- 
ing after the expected attack. In speaking of the friendly in- 
terference of Mrs. Johnston, the diary says: 

"This influence, and the courage that never knew fear on 
the part of our chief, have saved probably hundreds of lives, 
and given us peaceable entrance to a country whose territory 
skirts an inland sea, co-extensive with the Baltic, and which 
must ere long be added by cession to the millions upon mil- 
lions of acres already composing Uncle Sam's farm." 

We should have before mentioned, that, in the following af- 
ternoon another council was held, the amende honorable made, 
and the treaty signed. 

In writing to Mr. Trowbridge recently, and asking him to 
refresh his memory with reference to Hole-in-the-Day hav- 
ing been present, and taken a prominent part iur the affair at 
Sault St. Marie in 1820, as mentioned by Eev. Dr. Brunson, 
in his sketch of that chief, he kindly responded as follows, 
which we give entire, though in many respects covering the 
same ground as given in the preceding statement, yet furnish- 
ing additional details in others: 

"Dr. Brunson's sketch is, in respect to Hole-in-the-Day, 
only one more proof that it is dangerous to trust tradition. 
Hole-in-the-Day no doubt told the Doctor, or his informant, 
tjiat in the little affair at Sault St Marie, in 1820, between 
Gov. Cass and the Chippewas, he came to the Governor's aid. 
But there is an alihi — Hole-in-the-Day was not there. I 
recollect the circumstances as well as if they occurred but yes- 
terday, and my journal of the events is now before me. The 
account in the Toledo paper, to which you refer, I have not seen 
since it was published, but is was correctly stated. Without 

414 Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. v 

knowing whether I repeat what is there related, I will mention 
that the Governor took from Detroit one canoe crew of In- 
dians, under command of Ke-wa-kwish-knm, an Ottawa chief 
from Grand Eapids, Michigan. At Mackinaw, where we 
stopped several days, a very handsome, athletic young Indian, 
whom we called Buck, probably as a translation of his Indian 
name, was strongly recommended by Biddle and Drew, In- 
dian traders, as likely to be serviceable, and the fellow plead 
60 hard to go, that the Governor took him. 

At the Sault St. Marie, the conference with the Chippewaa 
took place in the Governor's wall tent, the sides of which were 
rolled up, so that it was a tent a Vdbri. The Chippewas had 
their lodges on the American side, some distance, say a third 
of a mile above the Governor's camp. My impression is, that 
when they came to the conference, they had juEt come from 
the British side. You are aware, that the British had, during 
the war of 1812-15, been profuse in the distribution of pres- 
ents, and our Government had not. The consequence was, a 
settled hostility on the part of the Indians. The object of the 
Cass expedition was to carry our flag through their country, 
assert our rights, arrange for a military post at St. Marie, and 
look for the Ontonagon copper rock. Gov. Cass informed this 
little squad of Chippewas of this design. He told them of the 
double purchase of their territory by the French and English; 
read and explained to them the treaty of Greenville in 1795, 
of Spring Wells in 1815, and of Fort Harrison in 1816; and 
informed them that their Great American Father intended to 
place some troops at the Sault St. Marie, and wanted a small 
piece of land, for which he was ready to pay a third time. 

I must describe the appearance of the Chippewa chief. Be- 
ginning at the top, an eagle's feather, bear's grease, vermillion 
and indigo, a red British military coat, with two enormou3 
epaulets, a large British silver medal, breech-clout, leggings 
and moccasins. Thus decked off, he arose and said gruffly, 
that they did not wish to sell their land.* The Governor in- 

• Schoolcraft's Narrative says: "A brilliant assembly of chiefs, dressed In 
costly broadcloths, feathers, epaulets, medals and silver-wares of British fabric, 
and armed from the manufactories of Birmingham." 




formed them that their fathers had twice sold it, and been paid 
for it, but that ^'to make things pleasant/' he T\^ould bny it 
again. He had a quantity of tobacco, in the center of the tent, 
for distribution. lie offered, through the interpreter, the usual 
pipe, after smoking — in his way, which was, to wait till the in- 
terpreter had fixed the pipe, and then blow the smoke out, in- 
stead of inhaling it himseK. The chief rejected the pipe, and 
rushed out of the tent — not through the door, but under the 
side.* His men followed him. They went up to their camp. 
This was late in the forenoon. Soon after, the women of the 
camp were seen going towards the river with burdens on 
their backs; and then, it was discovered, that the British 
flag was hoisted in front of their lodges. As soon as the Gov- 
ernor saw this, he called William Riley, the interpreter, and 
walked hastily to the Indian camp He refused to allow any 
one else to accompany him. He went unarmed. We watched 
with deep solicitude. We saw him pull down the flag, throw 
it to the ground, and point to it while he looked towards the 
Indians, who were then outside of the lodges. Kiley told us, 
when they returned to camp, that the Governor rebuked the 
Indians, and told them if they raised the flag there again, he 
would fire on them. Riley, by command of the Governor, 
brou^'ht the stafl of the flag to our camp.f 

Early in the evening, George Johnston came to the Gov- 
ernor, at the request of his mother, to tell him that the Chip- 
pewas intended to attack the camp during the night. Imme- 
diately the camp was put in a state of defence. Sentinels were 
posted, muskets were rubbed up, and common guns and horse- 
men's pistols, with which the young gentlemen of the Gover- 
nor' , suite were armed, were loaded, and orders and counter- 
signs given. We had a guard of soldiers who accompanied us 
thus far, under Lieut. John Piercei, brother of the late Pres- 

*"He drew," says Schoolcraft, "his lance, and stuck It firmly In the ground 
before him, and assumed a look of savage wildness, and kicked away the prea- 
ents which had heen laid before him." This was Sas-sa-ba. 

tSchoolcraft says that the governor brought "the flag to his camp. We had 
sixty men ; they had eighty." Mr. Trowbridge adds, "I see that my journal 
gays the same as to the flag and men." 

tJohn Sullivan Pierce, a native of New Hampshire, entered the army as a 
Third Lieutenant, in April. 1814 ; was promoted to a First Lieutenant in 1818, 
and resigned in February, 1823. 

4i6 Wisconsin Historical Collections [yoLt 

ident of that name, besides eight, who eontiniied with lu^ 
throughout the expedition^ under Lieut. Mackay.* It was 
now discovered that our Indians faltered. They came with their 
chief to the Governor, and said they would give up their arms 
and lie down, and take their chance of death; but they would 
not fire upon their brothers. Young Buck stood aloof. When 
the chief had finished, Buck walked forward, with a defiant 
air, and, addressing the Governor, alluded to his having been 
reluctantly received at Mackinaw, and now he was going to 
make good the pledge of Biddle and Drew. "He wanted," 
he said, "a good rifle, and wanted no one to relieve him ; and if 
those fellows dared to approach our camp, they would pay dear- 
ly for their temerity." We put out the fires and lights, and 
watched all night. It was very dark ; but all were in fine spirits 
and '^spoiling for a fi2:ht." Day broke, and we all found our- 
selves wearing our scalps. 

In a short time we learned that Mrs. Johnston, who was a 
chief's daughter,! had spent the night with her friends and 
relatives at their < amp, and that they heartily repented of their 
rashness. They were now desirous to see their Father and 
apologize, and would be glad to sell him a piece of land for a 
fort. Accordingly a conference was had, the Chippewas apol- 
ogized, and the treaty of cession was made. We afterwards 
heard that the Chippewas on Lake Superior were greatly sur- 
prised to see us, after having been apprised by runners that 
we were all to be massacred at the Sault as we passed up. 

"Now here you see, my dear sir, that we had no aid from 
any one but Mrs. Johnston, and from her only as a diplomat, 
and that the real hero of the scene, after Governor Cass, of 
course, was the Indian Buck. Whether Hole-in-the-Day was 
there I do not know. I have no recollection of hearing anything 
from him till long after that event. "So much for Buck." 

•-Eneas Mackay, of New York, entered the service, in the ordnance de- 
partment, In March, 1813, and rose through several grades, to a hrevet Colonel 
for meritorious services In the Mexican war, and died at St. Louis, May 29, 

tMrs. Johnston, says Schoolcraft, was "a woman of excellent Judgment and 
good sense," and became the wife of John Johnston, an educated Irish gen- 
tleman, who early settled as a trader at S«uit St. Marie; where they raised 
a fine family of children, and had them well educated. Mr. Schoolcrftft mar- 
ried one of the daughters, who was an accomplished woman, wrote an 
exquisite hand, and composed with ahllity — she was, in a marked degree, gentle, 
polished, retiring and refined. ^ ^- ^* 


Abbbl, Waldo, member Executive Com- 
mittee, 1866, 38. 

Abercrombie, Gen., repulsed, 117. 

Adams, President, pardons Indians, 153, 

African newspapers, file of, 19. 
Akins, — , tried for Indian killing, 271. 
Alexander, Gen., In Black Hawk war, 

Allen, Prof. C. H., donor, 27, 28. 
Allen, Prof. Jonathan, early teacher, 

Allen, Hon. Thos. S., member Execu- 
tive Committee, 1867-'68, vii, viii ; 
donor, 169, 170 ; remarks on Gen. 
Dodge, 177. 

Algonquin Indians, 70, 71, 117. 

Allouez, Father, early missionary, 322. 

American Antiquarian Society, 27, 170. 

American Fur Company, 96, 237, 379. 

American Philosophical Society, donor, 

American maps, early, In Library, 21. 
Ange, De St., father and son, 65, 107, 
121, 122. 

An Indian Race for Life, a myth, 158. 

Annual Reports of the Executive Com- 
mitter, 1. 23, 161. 

Apple River Fort, settlement, 287. 

Appleton, Lawrence University at, 349. 

Armstrong, Mrs. Elizabeth, heroic con- 
duct of. 287-90. 

ArtagnaJ, M. De., mentioned, 94. 

Artaguette, — D', mentioned, 121. 

Assumption, Fort L% 113. 

Astor, John Jacob, 237. 

Atkinson, Gen., 152, 153, 155, 157, 
178, 194, 202, 259, 260, 287, 291, 
310, 316. 

Atlases. See Maps and Atlases. 

Atwater, Caleb, early writer on Wis- 
consin, 171. 

Atwood, Gen. David, member Executive 
Com., 1860-68, vll, vlll, 32-38; donor 
to Cabinet, 29; eulogy on €rOv. Har- 
vey, 48. 

Atwood, Hon, J. P., member Executive 
Committee, 1860-62, 32-34; eulogy 
on Dr. J. W. Hunt, 45. 

Atwood & Rublee, donors, 166. 

Australian newspapers in Library, 19. 

Autographs in Library, 169. 

Ba-be-si-kun-bab-i, or Big Curly Head, 

a Chippewa chief, 400. 
Bad Axe Battle, 261-264, 291-292, 307, 

309, 316. 
Badges worn by Indians, 125, 131. 
Bailey, E., early Prairie Du Chlen 

pioneer, 240. 
Baily, H. H., mentioned, 276. 
Baird, Hon. Henry S., a Vice President, 

1862-'68, 34-38, vii, vHi ; cited, 331. 
Baker, Hon. Charles M., mentioned, 

341, 343. 

Baker, MaJ. Daniel, mentioned, 160. 
Baker's Trading House, mentioned, S95. 
Baldwin, J. D., donor, 27. 
Ballard, Mrs., donor, 27. 
Bangs, Merwin & Co., donors, 165. 
Banking, early, at Prairie Du Chlen, 

Baraga, Father, Catholic missionary, 


Barber, Samuel, donor, 29, 168. 

Barn&rd, Hon. Henry, lectures on edu- 
cation In Wisconsin, 1846, 342, 369. 

Barre, Gov. De La, mentioned, 67, 110, 

Barrette's Ferry, 257. 

Barrette, — , killed, 258. 

Earrov-s, Willard, on Black Hawk's 
death, 305. 

Barry, Hon. A. C, State Superintend- 
ent, 262-65. 

Barstow, Wm. A., Secretary of Stata, 

Bartlett, J. R., donor, 27, 
Barton, Capt. C. H., donor, 29. 
Barton, Mrs. S. A., donor, 29. 
Bassett, Major, Indian Agent, 407. 

41 8 Wisconsin Historical Collections 

Bates, J. R., donor, 27. 

Battle of Bad Axe, 2G1-64, 291-92, 307, 

309, 316. 
Battle of Wisconsin Heights, 260. 
Batture Aux Fievres, & Sioux village, 

125, 131, 136. 
Bay Verte, mentioned, 115. 
Beaubien, Gen. John B., mentioned, 217. 
Beauchamp, a brave half breed, 148, 


Beauharnois, M. De, 77, 86, 87, 92-95, 

104, 106-108, 113. 
Beaujeu. See De Beaujeu. 
Beaumont, Dr. Wm., mentioned, 248, 

Becket, — , hung at Prairie Du Chien, 

Begon, M., Intendant of Canada, 85. 

Belger, Christia-n H., donor, 168. 

Bell, Andrew, translator of Garneau's 
Canada, 89. 

Beloit College, noticed, 349. 

Benedict, S. G., member of Executive 
Committee, 1860-'68, 32-38, vii, viii. 

Bennet, Hon. A. I., a Vice President, 
186a-'61, 32. 33. 

Benton, Hon. Charles S., a Vice Presi- 
dent, 1863-'64, 35, 36. 

Benton FSmale Academy. 349, 356. 

Bertonniere. Father De La, mentioned, 

Berry, Capt. Fortunatus,. in Black 
Hawk war, 286. 

Bi-aus-wah, a Chippewa chief, 401. 

Bienville, — , goes against the Chlcka- 
saws, 113. 

Blcknell. Rev. S. S., early teacher, 349. 

Big Curly Head, a Chippewa chief, 400. 

Big Month, a Chippewa chief, 129, 130, 
139. 141, 400. 

Billings, Col. Henry M., mentioned, 341. 

Binding Fun'd needed. 170. 

Black Hawk, restless in 1825, 216; 
War, origin of, 204 ; Fonda's account, 
259-64 ; a reminiscence of, 287 ; bat- 
tle of Peckatonica, 313, 314; battle 
of Wisconsin Heights, 260; battle of 
Bad Axe, 261-64, 291-92. 307, 309, 
316; battle of Bad Axe, incident, 
328; Wlnnebagoes, services, 306: 
Slonx, services, 310 ; capture of Black 
Hawk. 29.3-97, 308; dells, and Black 
Hawk's cave, 295, 298 ; autobiography 
vindicated, 300; death, and remains, 

Bliss, J. S., donor, 29, 169. 
Bloody Run, mentioned, 265-68. 

Blunt, G. W., mentioned, 276. 

Boat song, early, 100. 

Boilvin, Col. Nicholas, Indian Agent, 

127, 128, 145, 324. 
Boiseley, — , an early Wisconsin 

pioneer, 228-34, 250-53, 260. 
Boishebert, Sieur De, mentioned, 120. 
Borup, B. W., mentioned, 379. 
Boston Public Library, donor, 27. 
Bouthillier, Francis, early Prairie Du 

Chieu settler, 324. 
Bovee, T. H., donor, 29. 
Boxer, an Indian, dies of cholera, 265. 
Boyer, Henry, early teacher, 334. 
Brace, H., mentioned, 276. 
Bracken, Gen. Charles, cited, 188, 333. 
Braddock's Defeat, 115. 
Brigham, Col. Ebenezer, referred to. 

235, 317, 319. 
Brisbois, Antoine, early Prairie Da 

Chien settler, 267. 
Brisbois, B. W., cited, 158, 270. 
Brisbois, Lieut, Charles, mentioned, 

278, 279. 

Brisbois, J., early Prairie du Chica 

pioneer, 240. 
Brisbois, Michael, mentioned, 272, 275, 


British liberality to Indians, 388, 389. 

410, 411 414. 
Britton, Rev. J. B., member executive 

committee, 1861, 33. 
Brooks, S. M., paints portrait, 28. 
Bross, C. E., donor, 27. 
Brown, Beriah, early friend of the 

Society, 17. 
Brown, Rev. Mr., of La Croflse. on G^r. 

Harvey, 50, 55. 
Brunson, Rev. Dr. Alfred, confr'.? ifM 

historical paper, 16; a vice nrps:.!' r.f. 

1860-*61, 32, 33; cited. 2nr. : ^•.rly 

settler, 273. 276; sketch of Hoif-la- 

the-Day, 387; comments on, 410, 41.1, 


Brusha. a Chippewa Chief, mentioned. 
381, 390. 

Buck, an Indian, heroic conduct ^f. 
414, 416. 

Bug-on-a ke-shlg, or HoIe-In-the-Dayt 

Bul.sson, Sieur. See De Bulsaon, 

Bull, N. B., donor, 29. 

Burnett, Hon. Thos. P., edited flr«t 
vol. Sup. Court Reports, 172; char- 
acter and death, 27. 

Burr, Addison, donor, 168. 

Bushneil, Prof. J. J., early teacher. 849. 




Butler, Prof. James D., member Execu- 
tive Com., 186(>-'6S, 32-38, vii, viii. 

Butte Des Morts, mentioned, 82, 95, 
102-3, 179, 225. 

Buzzard, father of One-eyed-De-Kau- 
ray, 297. 

Cadott, — , early La Pointe pioneer, 

Cadle, Rev. Richard F., early teacher, 

327, 330, 353, 355. 
California, photographic views, 168. 
Calkins, Col. E. A., member Executive 

Committee, 1866-68, 38, vii. 
Calliere, Chevalier, mentioned, 69, 73, 


Cameron, Hon. Angus, a vice Presi- 
dent, 186&-87, 38, vii, viii. 

Campbell, Rev. Mr., early teacher, 334. 

Canadian documents, 64 ; De Lou- 
▼Igny's Mackinaw expedition, 65 ; 
De Louvigny's petition and defence, 
67 ; De Louvigny's disobedience of 
orders, 73 ; De Calliere and De Cham- 
plgny on De Louvigny, 76; De Lou- 
vigny's projected expedition, 77 ; 
origin of the Fox war, 78 ; De 
Louvigny's expedition against the 
Foxes, 1716, 78 ; De Louvigny's ser- 
vices In the Fox war. 80 ; Charle- 
voix's account of De Louvigny's ex- 
pedition, 81 ; death of De Louvlgny. 
85 ; renewal of the Fox war, 1728, 86 ; 
Crespel's account of De Lignery's 
expedition, 87 ; oflacial account of 
De Lignery's expedition, 92 ; La Butte 
Des Morts, by W. J. Snelling, 95 ; 
allied Indian expedition against the 
Foxes, 1729, 104 ; new expedition 
against the Foxes, 1730, 106; De 
Villlers defeats the Foxes, 1730, 107; 
Draper's Historical Notices, 108. 

Car-a-mau-ne, a Winnebago chief, 181. 

Cardlnell, — , pioneer settler of Prairie 
Du Chien, 323. 

Carley, Dr. D. W., mentioned, 346. 

Carpenter, S. D., donor, 26 ; Wisconsin 
writer, 171. 

Carpenter, S. H„ aids In re-organlzlng 
the Society, 15 ; member of EJxecu- 
tlve Committee, 1863-68, 35-38, vii, 
Till; donor, 28. 

Ctrr, Prof. B. S., member of Executive 
Committee, 1866-68, 38, vii, vlil ; 
eulogy on Dr. J. W. Hunt, 39 ; en- 
gaged on N. T. Geological survey, 


40 ; instructor in Castietou Medical 

College, 40. 
Carver's Travels, cited, 123, 171, 297. 
Case, F. W., donor, 27. 
Cass, Hon. Lewis, furnished historical 

documents, 65, 91 ; expedition of 

1820, 370, 388, 389, 400, 410-16; 

treaty at Prairie Du Chlen, 1823. 

123, 391 ; holds treaty at Butte Des 

Morts, 1827, 224, 225; Winnebago 

out-break, 156, 157, 200. 
Cassville, its early promise, 272. 
Castleman, Dr. A. L., Wisconsin writer, 


Catlin, George, cited, 65. 

Catlin, Hon. John, liberal donation of, 

170; Honorary Vice President, 1867- 

'68, vii, viii. 
Cavagnal, Maj. De, served in Fox war, 


Center, Lieut., mentioned, 373. 
Cha-e-tar, a Winnebago Indian, 295-97. 
Chacoruicle, Sieur De, mentioned, 74. 
Chadbourne, President P. A., member 

Executive Committee, 1868, viii. 
Chah-post-kaw-kaw, father of One-Eyed- 

De-Kau-ray, 297. 
Chambers, Gov. John, mentioned, 305. 
Champigny, M. De, mentioned, 74, 76. 
Chandler. Hon. D. H.. editor Sup. 

Court Reports, 172. 
Chapin, Rev. Dr. A. L., early educator, 


Chapman, Dr. C. B., member Executive 

Committee, 32, 33, 38, vii. 
Chapman, Silas, donor, 27 ; early 

teacher, 348 ; secretary of Normal 

Regents, 348. 
Charlevoix, — , cited, 64, 81, 85, 400; 

explores the west, 121 ; history of 

New France, 171. 
Chartres, Fort, mentioned, 119-122. 
Chazel, M. De. Intendant of Canada, 85. 
Chenviet, F„ early Prairie Du Chien 

settler, 240. 
Cherrler, Flavin, early Prairie Du Chlen 

settler, 240. 
Cherokee Phoenix, newspaper file in 

Library, 19. 
Chicago, In 1818, 158-60; In 1825, 

216, 218; In 1827, threatened by 

Indians, 225 ; in 1834, not promising, 


Chicago niBtorlcal Society, donor, 27, 
28, 164. 

Chlckasaws, bravest nation of Louisiana, 
85, 113. 

42 o Wisconsin Historical Collections 

Chlc-hon-sic, or Little Boeuf, pardoned, 
153, 202. 

Chllds, Col. Ebenezer, cited, 185, 351. 

China newspapers. In Library, 19. 

Chippewas, mentioned, 103, 104, 111, 
123-41, 247, 273, 274 ; their language, 
380; see sketches of Hole-in-the- 
Day, elder and younger ; see Cass, at 
St. Marie, in 1820. 

Cholera »t Prairie Du Chien, 1832, 

Chou-ke-ka, or The Ladle, a Winnebago 
Chief, 297. 

Christlnaux Indians, mentioned, 117, 

Clark, — , an early miner, 318. 

Clark, Capt, in Black Hawk war, 285. 

Clark, Dr., of Racine, efforts to save 
Got. Harvey, 62. 

Clark, George T., donor, 169. 

Clark, J. A., mentioned, 278. 

Clark, John H., member Executive Com- 
mittee, 1864-'68, 30-38, vii, viii. 

Clark, Julius T., member Executive 
Committee, 1861-'63, 33-35; remin- 
iscences of Hole-in-the-Day, 378. 

CUkrk, Capt. Nathan, noticed, 132. 

Clark, Gen. William, mentioned, 123, 
157, 308. 

Clarke, Robert, donor, 27, 28. 

Clerin, Sieur, mentioned, 70. 

Clifford, R. A., paints Judge Miller's 
portrait, 167. 

Clinton, E. D., mentioned, S48. 

Coates, S. D., paints and presents por- 
trait, 167. 

Coffin. — , killed, 255. 

Coin, early, donation of, 168. 

Colby, W. M., donor, 168, 169. 

Cole, A. J., donor, 29. 

Cole, Downing, and Dudley Diggings, 

Collins, Gen,, of New York, 371, 372. 
Collins, Hon. A. L., on Gov. Harvey, 

Oolman, Col. Edward, frlendlj offlcei, 


Colnmblan Pur Company, 125. 

Confederate script, 168. 

Connor, — , Indian Agent, 203. 

Conover, Prof. O. M., aided In re-or- 
ganlzlng the Society, 15 ; treasurer, 
1860-'e8, 32-38, yll, vlll ; moves 
•doptlon of Hunt resolntlons, 45 ; 
edits Supreme Court Reports, 172. 

Constantinople papers, In Library, 19. 

Continental and Colonial currency, 168. 

Oontrecoenr, — , mentioned, 115. 

Corn, first raised in Grant county, 315. 
Corne, Chevalier De La, mentioned, 

Cornell, Hon. Ezra, donor, 165. 

Craig, Hon. A. J., State Superintend- 
ent, 367. 

Crane, Dr. N. J., donor, 168, 169. 

Crawford, Miss, early teacher, 325. 

Crespel, Father Emanuel, cited. 64, 88, 
91, 92. 

Crespel, Louis, mentioned, 86. 
Crooks, Ramsay, in Wisconsin, 1827, 

Croswell, Caleb, noticed, 341. 
Curtis, Daniel, early teacher, 325, 331, 
332, 353. 

Curtiss, Maj. D. S., Wisconsin writer, 

Curts' Settlement, mentioned, 273. 
Curts, W. R., mentioned, 278. 

Dahkotahs. See Sioux. 
Dandly, — , mentioned, 276. 
D'Artaguette, — , mentioned, 121. 
Davenport, Col., mentioned, 30Q-304. 
Davidson, W., personal narrative, 317- 

Davis Hon. M. M., a Vice President, 
1860-'61, 32, 33. 

Dawson, Henry B., donor, 27 ; histori- 
cal series, 166. 

Dean, Hon. B. B., member BiecntlT* 
Com., 1865-'68, 37, 38, vll, vlll; oa 

' committee on Dodge resolutions, 177. 

Dean, John S., donor, 27. 

Dean, Hon. N. W., donor, 29. 

D'Artagnal, SI., mentioned, 94. 

De Beauhamois, Gov., 77, 86, 87, 92-95, 
104, 106, 108, 113. 

De Beaujeu, M., served In Fox war, 
1728, 94; historical notice of, 65, 

De Bolshebert, Sleur, mentioned, 120. 
De Cavagnal, MaJ., mentioned, 93. 
De Charcornicle, Sieur, mentioned, T4. 
De Champlgny, M., mentioned, 74, T8. 
De Chazel, Intendant of Canada, 85. 
De Frontenac, Gov., mentioned, 65, 

70, 109. 112. 
De Grals, SleuT, mentioned, 77. 
De Grand Pre, Sleur, mentioned, 7T. 
D' Hosta, Sleur, noticed, 67. 
De Kau-ray, Family, 155, 156, 297. 
De Kau-ray, or Chou-ke-ka. or the 

Ladle, 155, 297. 
De Kau-ray, or Scha-chlp-ka-ka, or Th« 

White War Eagle, 128, 153-58, 20T. 


De Kau-ray, or Chah-post kaw-kaw, or 

the Buzzard, 297. 
De Kau-ray, Waukon, or Snake Skin, 

156, 297, 307. 
De Kftu-ray, One-Eyed, noticed, 156, 


De la Barre, Gov., mentioned, 67, 110, 

De la Bertonniere, Father, mentioned, 

De la Corne, Chevalier, mentioned, 114. 

De la Gemeraye, Sieur, noticed, 67. 

De la Gess, Capt., mentioned, 85. 

De la Martiniere, Sieur, mentioned, 74. 

De Langlades, first settlers at Green 
Bay, 9, 115, 118, 297, 323-25. 

Delaplaine, Gen. Geo. P., member Ex- 
ecutive Com., 1860-'68, 32-38, vii, 

Delaplaine & Burdick, donors, 27. 

De La Perotiere. Sieur, mentioned, 76. 

De La Potherie, — , early Western 

traveler and writer, 112. 
De LIgnery's expedition against the 
Foxes, 1728, 64, 86, 87, 92; histori- 
cal notice of, 65, 113. 
De Lllller, Count, in Wisconsin, 1827, 

188, 190. 
Dells of Wisconsin, 298. 
Delong, Capt. Cornelius, in Black Hawk 

war, 286. 
De Longueuil, M., mentioned, 113. 
De Louvigny's expedition to Mswklnaw, 
1690, 65; petition and defence, 1700, 
67 ; disobedience of orders, 1700, 73 ; 
De Calllere and De Champigny on, 
1701, 76; projected expedition, 1703, 
77 ; expedition against the Foxes, 
1716, 64, 78, 80, 81; death, 85; his- 
torical notice of, 65, 108. 
De Nonvllle's expedition against the 

Senecas, 111. 
D« Noyelle, Sieur, services, 107; his- 
torical notice of, 65, 120. 
De Ramezay, Governor of Montreal, 85. 
De St. Ange, father and son, noticed, 

65, 107, 121, 122. 
De St. Lusson, — , mentioned, 110. 
De St. Vallier, Bishop, mentioned, 87. 
De Tonty, Sieur, mentioned, 76, 77. 
Detroit attacked, 1712, 78. 
De Vaudreuil, Gov., 77, 79, 81, 84, 86, 

109, 112, 113. 
De Vllllers, father and sons, 104, 107, 
108, 117, 121, 122 ; historical notices 
of, 65, 118, 119. 
D«wey, Got. Nelson, mentioned, 175, 
844. I 

Dickson, Capt. Joseph, In Black Hawk 
war, 261, 262, 285 ; personal narra- 
tive, 315. 

Diet, change of, producing dysentery, 

Dixon, Rev. A. M., early teacher, 347. 

Dixon, Capt. Frederick, in Black 
Hawk war, 287, 289. 

Dixon, Hon. L. H., donor, 29. 

Dodge, Hon. A. C, donor, 169. 

Dodge, Gen. Henry, letter to Gen. At- 
kinson, 1827, 157; 1832, in Black 
Hawk war, 259. 260, 262, 263, 285, 
307-309, 316, 319; 1832, Peckatonica 
battle referred to, 313, 314 ; papers 
burned at Fort Winnebago, 309 ; 
early friend of education, 333, 340, 
344, 345 ; first Territorial Governor, 
374; 1837, held Indian treaties, 391; 
Pinney's eulogy, 173. 

Dodge, William, historical series, 166. 

Doolittle, Hon. J. R., a Vice President, 
1865-68, 37, 38, vii, viii; donor, 27. 

Dorward, D. J., paints portraits, 28. 

Doty, Maj. Charles, mentioned, 376. 

Doty, Hon. James Duane, referred to, 
146, 152, 344, 410; life and service* 
by Gen. Ellis, 369. 

Doty, Mrs. Sarah C, mentioned, 371, 
372, 376. 

Dousman, Gen. H. L., cited and re- 
ferred to, 166, 158, 237, 240. 272, 

Drake, S. G., donor, 165. 

Draper, Lyman C, aids In re-organlzlng 
the Society, 16 ; corresponding secre- 
tary, 1860-68, 32, 38, vii, viii, 363; 
secures books for the society, 8-5 ; 
state superintendent, 1858-59, 3-6, 
366 ; donor, 28 ; reports resolution* 
on Dr. Hunt, 45 ; made remarks on 
Gen. Dodge, 117 ; historical notice* 
by, 65, 108 ; plea for school libraries, 
366 ; note on the elder Hole-in-the- 
Day, 400; note on the younger Hole- 
In-the-day, 408 ; notes, historical 
and explanatory, 64, 65, 67, 77, 78, 
81-83, 85, 86, 89, 91, 92, 96, 97, 
102-106. 108, 111, 115-117, 123, 125, 
126, 129, 132, 133, 141, 142, 144- 
146, 148, 150-163, 155, 156, 158, 
178, 181, 182, 185, 188, 202, 205, 
216, 225, 227, 236, 238, 239, 241, 
244, 245, 248, 256, 263, 265, 287, 
278, 279, 287, 293, 297. 309, 311, 
312, 319, 325, 341, 350, 352, 87«, 
389, 392, 396, 411, 415, 416. 
rlggs, G. W., WlBconsin writer, 171. 

42 2 Wisconsin Historical Collections 

Du Buisson, Sleur, seryices, 78, 94, 
106, 107 ; historical notice of, 65, 

Dubuque, Julian, burial place, 203, 241. 
Dumas, — , mentioned, 114, 115. 
Dunbar, — , mentioned, 243, 244. 
Dunn, Judge, mentioned, 271, 277. 
Durkee, Hon. Charles, a vice president, 

1862-'e3, 34, 35 ; governor of Utah, 

succeeds Gov. Doty, 375. 
Durrie, Daniel S., librarian, 1860-'68. 

32-38, vii, viii ; writer on Genealogy, 

and Wisconsin topography, 171 ; 

donoi*, 165. 

Ea.glb^s feather, an Indian badge, 125, 

Eagle, Grey, Indian chief, 267, 268. 

Eagle-Head, a Sioux chief, 135-38. 

Eagle, White War. See De Kau-ray, 

Earl, , a soldier, mentioned, 246. 

Early Education in Wisconsin, 231, 252. 

Early French documents on Wisconsin 
history, needed, 116. 

Early Mail facilities, 226. 

Early Steamboats on Upper Missis- 
sippi, 214, 240, 261, 273. 

Editorial Convention of Wisconsin, 
donor, 170. 

Edwards, Col. Abram, a reminiscence 
by, 158. 

Education, History of, in Wisconsin, 
321, 352. 

Eldredge, Hon. C. A., donor, 28. 

Ellis, Gen. A. G., early Anglo-American 
settler, 376 ; early teacher, 327, 355 ; 
sketch of Gov. Doty, 369. 

Ellis, J. Alder, member Executive Com- 
mittee, 1860-'63. 32-35. 

Endowment for Society needed, 30, 170. 

Emerson, Prof. Joseph, early educator, 

Eulogy on Dr. J. W. Hunt, 39, 45 ; on 
Gov. Harvey, 48 ; on Gen. Dodge, 173. 

Exploration of the West, early scheme, 
note, 115, 116. 

Pahnestock, G. W., donor, 27, 28, 165. 

Palling Leaf. See Waba-sha. 

Falrchlld, Hon. Lucius, member Ex- 
ecutive Com.. 1864-'68. 36-38, vll. 
Till; fr